3 Reasons Why San Bernardino is the Perfect Location for Movie, TV, & Film Production

11/12/19

Author: Monique Carter, MPA, MCR

Southern California is home to the world’s oldest and most profitable film industry in the world. Hollywood certainly deserves its fair share of recognition, but what about its neighbor to the east? San Bernardino County is the best-kept secret when it comes to television and film production in Southern California. The county has been the backdrop for countless movie, TV, and video productions including blockbusters like Captain Marvel (2019) and Bumblebee (2018). San Bernardino County is a convenient locale for production with an abundance of diverse film-friendly locations.

Prime Locations

San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States. With an area of over 20,160 square miles, the county has no shortage of unique and desirable filming locations. Diverse settings include snow-capped mountains, sand dunes, forests, lakes, farms, airports, ghost towns, and military bases. From Big Bear Lake to Pioneertown, movie location scouts can find unique filming locations across the county.

Critically-acclaimed movies, such as Ad Astra (2019) featuring Brad Pitt were filmed in Baker. Action movies, such as Iron Man (2008) and Armored (2009), filmed at California Steel Industries, a still manufacturing facility in Fontana. Cult classics like From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004) shot in Barstow. The county offers endless possibilities for backdrops and film settings.

Convenience

Production companies do not necessarily have to travel far to tell stories of faraway places. Just a stone’s throw away from Hollywood, San Bernardino is not only home to some of the best locations for filming, but the region also offers convenience and accessibility. With major highways, countless backroads, major railways, and international and logistics airports, the county’s various filming locations are easily accessible for production companies.

The unique landscape of San Bernardino County enables production crews to travel between vastly different filming locations in a short amount of time. In the county, you can travel from desert to mountain in under an hour.

Scott Downing, a producer with Image Grove Productions, said, “San Bernardino County remains one of my favorites when I’m looking to explore its riches – ranging from the desolate desert to forested alpine meadows. It is rare to be able to find such scenic opportunities so closely accessible both to each other and to major media transportation hubs.”

County Resources & Assistance

San Bernardino County has a long working relationship with nearby Hollywood. The San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency is an invaluable partner for production companies. The agency specializes in obtaining film permits at production speed for the entertainment industry. A team of film permit experts assists production companies by expediting the application process. They can also assist with finding accommodations for cast and crew and keep production companies in the know when it comes to various incentive programs.

Production in San Bernardino County nearly doubled in the past two years going from $11 million to $19 million from 2017 to beginning of 2019. San Bernardino County’s filming industry has only grown from there. Considering the broad range of backdrops and close proximity to Tinseltown, it’s no surprise that more and more production crews are turning to the county to find the perfect location for their productions.

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