REDDING, Calif. -- Shasta County is known by locals for its breathtaking views and gorgeous lakes, and now even Hollywood is taking notice.
The Shasta County Film Commission reported a big boost in film and tv productions in Shasta County last year with a record 31 productions, bringing in more than $1.4 million in economic impact for the area.
“2017 was a record-breaking year by all measures,” film commissioner Sabrina Jursich said. “But 2018 we saw an increase in that even more substantially.”
She said that's due in part to many factors, but one main factor is that the area is growing as a desirable location for filmmakers looking for vast outdoor spaces and natural landscapes.
“It's kind of an untapped area,” filmmaker Jason Head said. “And I'm not sure why because it's so pretty here ... You've got mountains. You've got lakes. You've got rivers. You've got waterfalls. You've got all those things that a person would want to do outside.”
Head works for local production company Spero Pictures and directed the Stronger Than Carr documentary that premiered last weekend.
He said people are starting to take notice, and that's easily illustrated with some of the bigger productions coming into town.
“Top Gear came in and a few movies came in,” Head said. “And a Ford commercial was just shot here so people are starting to see the beauty and the production value of the locations here. And I think that's why it's growing so much.”
The film commission also launched a local film incentive program two years ago to encourage production companies to film in Shasta County.
And they've streamlined their website making it easier for location scouts to find more than 300 film-friendly locations in the area.
That combined with the overall hospitality the North State has to offer is something film producers are taking note of.
“And that is something that they're not getting everywhere,” Jursich said. “So we're really offering not only great outdoor locations but just great opportunity, great service within our area.”
Last year, a Nature Valley commercial highlighting Castle Lake and Lassen National Park was aired more than 6,000 times on national TV which Jursich says has helped put the area on the map.