Film Santa Clarita: Ringing In The Holidays
Santa Clarita has played home to just about every genre of film and television there is, holiday productions are no different. Normally, holiday movies tend to film in snowy climates, mainly because when the rest of the country is shoveling driveways and sledding to work, we are wearing shorts and flip flops and trying to decide between tennis and golf. However, we have had our fair share of productions from holiday classics to winter wonderland music videos, commercials and television programs that find their ways to screens big and small this time of year.
Hollywood stars don’t get any bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger and his 1996 film Jingle All the Way, which became an instant holiday classic in households across America. The film, in which Arnold plays a workaholic father who will go to just about any length to get his son a Turbo-Man action figure, was filmed primarily in the Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minnesota, including a lot of screen time at the Mall of America. Santa Clarita, however, is featured very prominently in the very first scene of the movie with Vasquez Rocks used as the backdrop for the Turbo-Man television show. Turbo-Man may have been inspired by the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers which, coincidentally, also filmed at Vasquez Rocks.
A Christmas Mystery, a drama and mystery feature released in 2014 about a reporter tracking down a family secret involving mysterious Christmas cards sent to her late mother from a secret admirer was shot in Old Town Newhall. Lyons Avenue and Main Street are featured in a nighttime scene when two teens nearly get run over by a car and share a tense moment.
The Doggone movie series has roots in Santa Clarita in terms of location filming and A Doggone Christmas is perhaps the most notable of all. The playful children’s movie has all the elements of, well…, a playful children’s movie. It features government conspiracies, bumbling government agents, sharp-witted kids and of course, a telepathic pooch, Murphy. Santa Clarita movie ranch Rancho Deluxe serves as the backdrop for much of the action comedy hijinks. Notably seen in the movie is the iconic children’s treehouse that is a signature of Rancho Deluxe’s amazing backdrops.
Defending Santa is a 2013 feature starring (former Superman) Dean Cain, Jud Tylor and legendary actor John Savage of Deer Hunter and Hair fame. The film draws on the popular storyline where a wayward Santa gets in trouble in the City (small town in this case) and must prove he is the real deal to be allowed to return to the North Pole in time for Christmas. Through this process everyone discovers the true meaning of Christmas and buys a sweater. This heartwarming holiday tale filmed scenes at Mann Biomedical Park and a residential home in town.
Four Christmases featured an all-star cast starring Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon and even Robert Duval for good measure. The movie filmed driving scenes along City streets and was shot in part at Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch.
Worth mentioning as well, is that holiday classic, A Nightmare Before Christmas which was created by Tim Burton who is a product of Cal Arts.
While our City might not be the winter wonderland much of the rest of the country experiences during the holiday season, it does have great weather and adaptability, which gives Santa Clarita enough draw to bring Santa Claus and production crews here to film their holiday features.
The City of Santa Clarita’s Film Office was started in 2002 and today processes over 500 permits per year, leading to approximately 1,300 film days! Filming is a great benefit to the community, adding over $30 million of positive economic impact per year to the local economy. For a list of what has filmed in Santa Clarita, go to www.FilmSantaClarita.com and follow the City’s film office at www.Instagram.com/FilmSantaClarita.