Filming in Santa Clarita Continues through COVID-19 Pandemic
Filming in Santa Clarita is a tradition that stretches all the way back to the golden age of silent westerns in the 1900s. Many stars have thundered through Santa Clarita’s rugged landscape onto the big screen like Mary Pickford from D.W. Griffith’s “Ramona” (1910), Charlie Chaplin from “The Pilgrim” and the iconic cowboy himself: William S. Hart. Today, Santa Clarita is known as a premier filming destination with a diverse roster of filming locations, rich history of western cinema and a Film Office that makes filming easy and convenient. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new set of challenges that productions must traverse in order to continue filming. Luckily, the City of Santa Clarita’s award-winning Film Office has re-opened, enabling productions to safely film once again.
Before Santa Clarita became known as the bustling film mecca we love today, the area was already in close proximity to the filmmaking capital of the world: Hollywood, CA. The area already had a strong appeal to the production industry as it featured a varied landscape that served as a backdrop for hundreds of photoshoots, music videos, commercials and Hollywood blockbusters. It wasn’t until the City’s first movie theatre opened in 1941 that residents could enjoy motion pictures that were filmed right in their own backyard. In the years following, the City welcomed numerous well-known productions from TV shows like “CSI,” “Myth Busters,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” to Hollywood blockbusters including “A Star is Born,” “Django Unchained,” “Iron Man” and “Star Trek.”
Even with an impressive resume of productions that have filmed in Santa Clarita, no one could have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic. While Santa Clarita residents begin to navigate through their day-to-day routines safely, many industries are getting back to work. Many of them have implemented safety protocols that are tailored to each of their crafts – including productions that film here. Santa Clarita’s Film Office quickly responded to a revised health order that was issued in June by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The Film Office is now issuing permits in compliance with the County’s health order.
The reopening protocols are detailed and apply directly to film productions. The compliance with these protocols come in the form of a detailed checklist that must be completed before the issuance of a permit. These protocols ensure social distancing, communication with employees and the public, in addition to workplace policies and practices to protect employee health. Under this order, productions must supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff and periodic testing of cast and crew is conducted. Break-rooms, restrooms and other common areas are disinfected frequently on pre-determined schedules, in addition to hand sanitizer and disinfectant being available in multiple areas. The protocols delve even further into the specific departments of film productions, including hair and makeup, wardrobe and props. To view the full checklist of safety protocols, please visit www.FilmSantaClarita.com.
www.FilmSantaClarita.com is a valuable resource not only for production companies looking to file filming permits, but also residents who are looking for a comprehensive library of valuable information that chronicle the beginnings of the City’s Film Office in addition to re-opening protocols for productions. Residents can also stay connected on social media by following the City’s Instagram @FilmSantaClarita.
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