Known for its rich history, lush rivers and parkways, and great downtown vibe, the Sacramento region is beautiful both on screen and off. That’s right – it’s not just a great place to live and visit, it’s a great place to film! Areas throughout the Sacramento region can provide a cozy small-town feeling, or the excitement of a bustling urban city. It also offers two rivers, quaint country bridges, rustic farms and unique Delta towns.
Beginning in 1914 with Cameo Kirby, directed by Oscar Apfel, filmmakers from all over the west coast began travelling to Sacramento for its stunning waterways. Throughout the 1920s and 30s Sacramento was used in dozens of films; many used Sacramento as a prime location to resemble the Mississippi Delta. Titles during this period included Steamboat Bill Jr., directed by Buster Keaton in 1923, and Steamboat ‘Round the Bend directed by John Ford in 1935.
“Filming is not only a piece of Sacramento’s history, it generates revenue; film crews stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, and often even use local talent in their productions,” said Troy Givans, Director of Economic Development and Marketing.
Only seven hours from Los Angeles, and less than two from San Francisco, Sacramento is an ideal location for filmmakers. Just last year, Johnny Knoxville and his crew travelled to Sacramento to film scenes for Bad Grandpa. Film locations included Discovery Park and Bonfare Market - a gas station and convenience store located on the corner of 20th and H Street in Midtown. Sacramento International Airport has been the backdrop for many reality TV series and made-for-TV movies and was featured in the 2005 film, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, starring Sean Penn.
“We work closely with other state and local agencies to ensure all required applications and permits are completed. We also arrange familiarization trips, provide location suggestions, and act as a liaison between production companies and local communities,” said Lucy Steffens, Film Commissioner. “And, in an effort to streamline the permitting process, all applications can be completed online.”
For major productions, after applications and permits are completed, agencies must meet with local fire and police departments to ensure proper safety precautions are being taken.
“Safety is always a top priority. And, for most major productions local law enforcement is on-site,” added Steffens.
For more information, visit the Sacramento Film Commission website. The Sacramento Film Commission is a division of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Other Titles Filmed in Sacramento:
The Mentalist 2012 (CBS)
Memoirs of a Geisha 1999 (Columbia)
Almost Famous 1999 (DreamWorks)
American Beauty 1999 (DreamWorks)
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman 1994 (CBS)
What’s Love Got To Do With It 1993 (Touchstone Pictures)
Pink Cadillac 1989 (Warner Bros.)
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes 1978 (Four Square Productions)