December numbers half of what they were before strike began.
As the Writers Guild strike continues to linger, film and television production has dropped off sharply. Santa Clarita is all too familiar with the economic pinch; December’s local filming numbers are half of what they were prior to the strike.
Since its creation in 2002, the Santa Clarita film office has made a big push to attract film and television production in local areas. That effort has paid off, as the 06-07 fiscal year brought record filming numbers to the City, and provided $21 million dollars in economic benefit to local businesses.
“We see a benefit from filming to businesses that include hotels, retail, catering, restaurants…” said Jessica Freude, from the City’s Economic Development Division. “Those kind of things all help to support our industry out here.”
The Writers Guild strike, since it began over two months ago, has slowly started claiming victims. Television has a shorter production cycle than film, so TV shows have been the first to stop filming. “We’re home to some locally based television shows like The Unit, NCIS, Big Love and The Riches,” said Freude.
Overall, Freude says that television accounts for roughly half of all local filming.
Aside from the loss for local businesses, many local residents are finding themselves out of work. The film industry employs a large number of Santa Clarita residents, who commute in and around LA County where a large amount of production takes place. This causes further concern for the City. “We're hopeful they can come to a resolution so our residents can get back to work.” said Freude.