Spotting a film crew out and about when you’re cruising in Sacramento is more common than you might think. Sacramento doesn’t rival Hollywood, but it is home to a burgeoning indie filmmaking scene that is uniquely ours. Local filmmakers say that the region’s current indie filmmaking atmosphere is ripe for growth. In fact, a few years ago, Sacramento was the location for a few mainstream productions including the film “Almost Famous” and “Big Love” the TV show.
Frank Casanova, owner of The Studio Center video production facility, said, “Any given day of the week there are about two to three movies in production somewhere in Sacramento. We have such a wonderful variety of exterior landscapes in this area; you could be on the Great Plains, in the Rocky Mountains, on the beach, and on a cityscape all within 90 miles of one another.”
With so many varied locations just a short drive away, creatives in the region have decided to embrace regional filmmaking. “I have the advantage of living in one of the most diverse areas in America demographically, but also scenically,” said David Jenkins, a graduating film student from the Art Institute of Sacramento. “Filmmakers in L.A. have recognized how lucky Sacramento residents are to live in such a great source of locations; it would be a waste if local filmmakers didn’t use them.”
Students at the Art Institute of Sacramento create many films in the Sacramento area, which are shown at free public screenings at local theaters. Some student films even make it to festivals; in fact, Sacramento boasts a handful of popular film festivals a year including the 48 Hour Film Festival, A Place Called Sacramento, the French Film Festival, the Food Film Festival, the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and the Sacramento International Film Festival. The Sacramento Film and Music Festival, which pairs local musicians with local filmmakers to make original music videos, happens September 9 – September 13, 2015.
The public is encouraged to attend these screenings and be active participants in the scene. “Movie screenings and festivals are a fun, cheap way to spend a night out and our growing audience is what keeps our local film community alive,” continued Jenkins. “Film is an art form that appeals to everyone and when you support a local artist, you support originality in Sacramento.”
Writer: Gospel Cruz, Communication and Media Intern