FILM SANTA CLARITA: We Got the Beat
As we’ve explored in this column, filming in Santa Clarita has resulted in blockbuster features, Oscar-winning movies, Super Bowl commercials, top-rated television and independent projects. One category that is also prolific in regards to production, is music videos. Some of the biggest stars of the last few decades have hung their hats in Santa Clarita and have shot at sound stages, movies ranches, businesses, homes and campuses. While the list of artists and videos is long, let’s take a look at a few highlights.
Sometimes Santa Clarita appears as a guest star with recognizable locations, and sometimes you might never know that your favorite band or singer was filming in your neighborhood.
The latter is the case with the Bruno Mars effort “The Lazy Song,” which filmed in the interior of a house in the Saugus area. The video features Mars and associates donning flannels and dancing to the song. The associates also are wearing chimpanzee masks. According to web sources, the 10th take of the shoot was used as the official video. The video also won the Best Choreography category at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. The video on YouTube has attracted nearly 1.5 billion views.
Popular 2000’s band Uncle Kracker filmed their “Follow Me” music video in several residential neighborhoods in Santa Clarita, with both driving shots and exteriors. The song was the band’s highest rated single, reaching number five on the charts, and the video has garnered almost 70 million views to date.
One of Smashing Pumpkins’ most popular and iconic songs, “1979,” featured a handful of locations around Valencia High School. The video is said to portray the “bored teenage lifestyle in Chicago.” Santa Clarita strikes-again, doubling as another part of the country.
Katy Perry has had multiple videos shot in the Santa Clarita Valley, and our local scenery is very noticeable. In her song “Part of Me,” the most recognizable shot is when she drives into the 76 Station on Lyons Avenue near I-5, after catching her significant other in a compromising situation. There were driving shots and multiple locations in Santa Clarita shown throughout the video.
Katy Perry returned to Santa Clarita years later to shoot the video for “Chained to the Rhythm,” where Six Flags Magic Mountain doubles as fictional theme park “Oblivia” in many shots. Those familiar with the park will recognize scenes with the theme park interspersed with digital effects and CGI that make up the futuristic video. If you click onto YouTube, you will join the 500 million-plus other people who did the same.
In the last issue of élite Magazine we focused on Vasquez Rocks, where two of pop music’s biggest stars filmed videos. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, filmed the video for “Black and White” there, and Rhianna filmed “Rehab” at the alien-like rock formations.
However, they weren’t the only music sensations to film at the park. Radiohead filmed the British release video of the song “High and Dry” at Vasquez Rocks. The British version takes place entirely at Vasquez Rocks, as the band performs under the skyline of the rocks.
Enrique Iglesias also features Vasquez Rocks in his video, “Be With You.”
Beyonce’s “Lemonade” album exploded when it was released in 2016. One of the backlots of Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch was featured heavily in the video for the song “Hold On.” The scenes include the courthouse, with water effects, and walking scenes along big city streets with a bat-wielding Beyonce.
Bon Jovi filmed their video for “Miracle” at the Veluzat Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita. The ranch’s iconic church and dusty little town take center stage in the video.
Britney Spears’ ballad, “From the Bottom of My Broken Heart,” has multiple locations, but the scene with the pop star staged on a wooden water tower is at Santa Clarita’s historic Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studios.
Blake Shelton’s “Bumble Bee” is filmed at different locations, including interiors at one of the cabins, at Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch. The video demonstrates Santa Clarita locations as having the ability to double as just about anywhere, including the south. Shelton also filmed the video for “I Lived It” at the Polsa Rosa Movie Ranch, where the property’s iconic barn is featured.
The City of Santa Clarita’s Film Office was started in 2002 and today processes over 500 permits per year, leading to over 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.
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