Palmdale is located in North-central Los Angeles County 67 miles from LA in the Antelope Valley. The city is separated from the LA Basin by the San Gabriel Mountains to the South. The 2020 census marked the population of Palmdale at 170,000. Together with its sister city of Lancaster, there is a combined population of 520,000.
The city’s original name was Palmenthal, German for Palm Valley. The first Europeans to settle in Antelope Valley in 1886 were farmers and ranchers of Swiss and German descent. These settlers followed the folklore that one is near water and the ocean when palm trees are seen. Unfortunately, the settlers mistook the Joshua trees of the high desert for palm trees.
There are remnants of the original settlements in Palmdale in present-day McAdam Park. Palmdale became too dependent on the aerospace industry when Boeing and Lockheed opened manufacturing facilities to take advantage of cheap land and government incentives. Due to the volatility of the aerospace industry, the State of California and Palmdale established enterprise zones to diversify the economy.
Production Space Options in Palmdale
The production spaces offered by the host owners in Palmdale feature residential, commercial, and outdoor spaces. The homes and the public buildings are of the hacienda and the mission-styled architecture. The outdoor scenery is typical of the high desert valley in California to emulate western and biblical scenes.
The products and the ancillary services in this category include grips, crews, contract labor, and set design. Some of the companies supporting the production industry are located in the vicinity of Palmdale, but most are in the Greater LA area.
Of the production services, the most often scrutinized is catering. Food services for a production set is an art form of its own. Whether a full plate or buffet style set-up, there needs to be flexibility within the menu and the coordination of service to meld with the production schedule.
FilmLA is the official office for Palmdale to provide a streamlined process for all permits relating to the production space. The film liaison is located within City Hall to guide a production company through the process. There may be additional permits and releases necessary to approve the project for filming. The Antelope Valley Film Office is an excellent resource for a production company to identify remote locations and champion a project for tax incentives and grants.
Production Space Companies in Palmdale
It is beneficial to contract local companies to equip and service a production space. The project will benefit from the local knowledge of the area. The creation of jobs and the wage investment into the economy will strengthen the ask when seeking incentives and grants for the project.
- Budget Truck Rental
While producing anywhere, you will often need to move your photo and stage equipment from place to place. Renting a moving truck would be practical and easy with Budget Truck Rental. They have decent rates, excellent reviews, and locations all over California and 48 other states in the US.
- Still Waters Catering
Located in and serving the Antelope Valley for 35 years, this food service company hosts both buffet and sit-down servings. Still Waters will partner with local vendors for an entire event planning scope complete with the rental of furniture, serving ware, and floral arrangements. The menu choices are tailored to the client’s expectations and event theme.
This HUB-sponsored company is located in Hawthorne, South of LA, and provides equipment rental to production companies for virtual, live, and hybrid events. The use of projectors, graphic workstations, and editing equipment will accommodate the timetable of any project. The scope of any rental can be enhanced by the addition of 24-hour technical and troubleshooting support.
Pros and Cons of Production Spaces in Palmdale
There are pros and cons in everything, and it all comes down to the management of expectations and informed decisions. Below is a list of both the advantages and the disadvantages when considering Palmdale as a location for production space. The list is an attempt to address some of the important aspects of the time schedule.
- Local industry support
The areas in and around Palmdale have supported the film and the production industries since the days of silent film. Most of Palmdale is now located within the Thirty Mile Zone and, with the expanded state tax incentives, Palmdale is experiencing a higher demand from production companies to film in the area.
Due to the higher elevation of 2,655 feet, the climate of Palmdale is described as semi-arid. The summer temperatures will get into the 90s from June through August, but the annual average temperature is 77 degrees F with mild and warm winters.
The architecture and the style of the residential and commercial buildings in Palmdale will be perfect for the project needing the hacienda/mission-type flavor of Southern California. The remote locations in the Valley can replicate those scenes typical of Westerns and biblical epics. The features of the landscape are raw and real.
There are train and bus stations at LAX for the 67-mile trip to Palmdale, but this can take up to four hours when dealing with transfers and traffic. The only practical transportation mode is a private car. Although this is not a disadvantage, there is a disadvantage of having only one choice.
With the expansion of the Thirty Mile Zone into Palmdale, the tax incentives from the state and the proactive measures of the city to diversify its economy invite competition. The competition invites a tighter market and higher prices. Therefore, early coordination and planning are a must.
Palmdale has a walkability score of 24 out of 100. This area of Southern California is car-dependent with most residents using a car for everyday errands. Currently, there is no infrastructure for urban cyclists.
Famous Locations in Palmdale
- Lucky Luke Brewing
This brewery is truly a hometown staple. A local couple’s passion for craft beer and creating a fun atmosphere for family and friends resulted in a successful community gathering place that happens to brew beer. The goals behind this establishment are welcoming friends and giving back to the community.
- Rainbow Ridge Ranch
Enjoy the high desert on horseback. The guided rides cover miles of scenic trails in the Angeles National Forest. Rainbow Ridge Ranch is the place for residents to board horses, take riding lessons, and rent ponies for children’s events.
- Rancho Vista Golf Club
This high desert oasis in the heart of Antelope Valley welcomes residents and visitors to enjoy a round on its pro-designed course. Golf is not the only amenity. The facility is also known for its full-service restaurant with banquet and event capabilities.