The Women Behind Santa Clarita’s Filmmaking Business

by | Nov 19, 2021 | SCV Reel Talk

While Santa Clarita’s filmmaking history features a variety of confident and inspiring women that appear on-screen, we are going to highlight a local individual who has contributed to Santa Clarita’s filmmaking success behind the scenes. Meet Karen Bryden, president of SCV Locations, a locally owned and operated locations representation and management company for the filmmaking industry. During our discussion with Karen, we learned about her journey to her current role, in addition to a behind-the-scenes look at her position that makes her a key woman in Santa Clarita’s local filmmaking industry.
Karen came to the Santa Clarita Valley to attend College of the Canyons, where she had the opportunity to work as a site representative at a local movie ranch – learning the nuances of the business. When given the choice to stay on the production side or go into location management, Karen decided to start her own business in 2001.
Today, Karen leads a team of staff who work closely with property owners and businesses interested in listing their property as film-friendly locations that productions can utilize for filmmaking projects. Over the past 20 years, SCV Locations has worked with numerous productions and property owners to facilitate shoots for television, film, still photo shoots and even music videos. One of Karen’s roles also includes working directly with production companies that are seeking a specific type of location for their project. Her team has cultivated a rich catalog of locations that can complement just about any need. Locations range from business parks, shopping centers and even an airport!
One of the challenges in the filmmaking industry is coordinating with different groups, especially those that may not know filmmaking vocabulary and jargon. By acting as a liaison between property owners and productions, Karen has learned the art of translating complex filmmaking production language to location property and business owners. Karen has made it her goal to be of service to the filmmaking industry and property owners – as balancing the needs of all parties is her top priority. Karen shared a specific example where a production asked to run cable through a homeowner’s property. She worked with production to suggest alternatives that protected the property while ensuring the shoot could continue uninterrupted. Karen mentions, “…there’s always a way to protect a property while allowing the production company to get their job done.”
Karen has had the opportunity to work alongside other female Hollywood hotshots, spending time on sets with Sandra Bullock and Elizabeth Banks as they produced and directed projects. During that experience, Karen recalls how Bullock commanded her sets and remembers the tremendous respect she felt for a fellow industry professional.
Karen is just one of the many talented women in business that Santa Clarita is fortunate to have, strengthening our local economy. To learn more about Santa Clarita’s filmmaking history and to see a list of what has been filmed here, please visit www.FilmSantaClarita.com and follow the City’s film office on Instagram @FilmSantaClarita.

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