Lancaster sees spike in film production

Nearly $10 million generated for the fiscal year

OW Staff Writer | 9/13/2013, midnight
"Operation Repo"

Film permits approved by the city of Lancaster from July 2012 to July 2013 were up 4 percent over the same period in 2011-2012. Within the past year, 13 commercial, 11 television, eight feature films, and three music video productions, as well as still photography and miscellaneous projects were filmed within city limits. The top three revenue-generating categories (commercial, television and feature film) produced 82 percent of the film business in Lancaster.

“On-location filming is great for the entire Antelope Valley,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “This past fiscal year, it generated an economic impact of nearly $10 million. We must continue our mission to always be a film-ready and business-friendly location.”

Overall, the Antelope Valley region had a banner year. Film productions were up 7 percent, totaling 332 versus 289 in fiscal year 20011-12, while production days were up 10 percent, with a total of 553 versus 503. The economic impact of such on-location filming is created through location rental fees, hotel stays, food and beverage purchases, gas, equipment rentals, construction supplies and production-related expenses.

From the 1950s-60s era Sierra Highway “motel row,” to the architecturally appealing venue of Lancaster Municipal Stadium, filmmakers found and utilized multiple city locations. Other sites utilized included eSolar, William J. Fox Airfield, Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, Mira Loma Detention Center, the Elks Lodge, Lancaster City Park and White House Café.

Popular TV reality shows which filmed in Lancaster during the past fiscal year included “Extreme Makeover Weightloss Edition,” “Top Gear,” “Barter Kings,” “Taboo,” “Storage Wars” and “Operation Repo.”

Television drama productions shot here included “The Mentalist” and the new TNT series “Lost Angels.”

Television’s “Truck Off” set up at the University of Antelope Valley campus on Sierra Highway.

Commercials shot in Lancaster included two 2013 Super Bowl commercials. The Super Bowl Head and Shoulders commercial starring “C.J.” Wilson, pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, was filmed at The Hangar Stadium, home of the Lancaster JetHawks. Hyundai also made several appearances on Lancaster streets while filming their Super Bowl commercial.

Business owners interested in registering their property as a film location may contact Pauline East of the Antelope Valley Film Office at (661) 510-4231 or visit www.avfilm.com.