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Over the years, filming in San Francisco has given us many opportunities to see parts of San Francisco on the big screen. Hit movies like "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "The Wedding Planner," for example, have given us a glimpse at San Francisco's many charming neighborhoods, including City Hall, Leavenworth Street, Mount Davidson, and the Excelsior district. And, of course, there's the famous Golden Gate Bridge...a modern spectacle that's been in too many movies to count!
So many movies have been set in San Francisco like "Sister Act," "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," "The Pursuit of Happyness," and "The Princess Diaries" that you might think there is nowhere new to shoot your next Steve McQueen car chase sequence but filmmakers manage to find new movie locations every time!
Pacific Heights, Alamo Square, Nob Hill, and Alcatraz aka "The Rock" all have both iconic and yet-to-be-discovered angles perfect for your next project. Make sure you check them out along with less-used places like Fisherman's Wharf, The Mission District, and Vallejo.
Many influential car chases that look more like a roller coaster ride have been shot here but made to look like other locations as SF streets are the perfect location for car chases!
With so many famous sets and so many unique venues, it's no wonder that San Francisco fliming locations are a film-production company's dream, with plenty of options for sets, production companies, and attractions.
San Francisco has many local options for film production, including homes, film studios, standings sets, industrial warehouses, and more.
It has noteworthy places with its own unique aesthetic, glamorously modern mansions, lofts, studios, beaches, parks, and even luxurious yachts.
In San Francisco, you can have drop-off catering - perfect for a quick on-set lunch - or even employ a full-service caterer for a post-film celebration. Many caterers will even work with you to create a custom menu.
San Francisco has wonderful transportation options, from cabs and cars, to bikes, buses, and trains, you’ll have no problem getting from point A to B.
Need equipment for your San Francisco film production? You'll find everything you need - from printers and projectors to lighting equipment and more - with San Francisco’s abundance of equipment rental options.
While many think of southern California for film producers, you can certainly find them in San Francisco, too. Here are a few well worth a mention.
Studio B Films is a nationally-acclaimed video production company headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.
They’ve produced web commercials, event videos, corporate media communications, coverage of live events, and more, and have worked with reputable clients including Adobe, Grammarly, and Facebook.
With a mission to inspire positive change through film, The Hive creates branding videos, commercials, and documentaries, for anyone with a message. They'll work with you every step of the way, from the conception of your idea, to its completion.
Having worked with clients around the world for almost 20 years, Purposeful Films has been noted as one of the leading video production and digital media companies in San Francisco.
They'll start by consulting with you on how to best captivate your audience, and work backward until they come up with something that does.
Filming in San Francisco is not without its own unique pros and cons. Here are a few to consider.
San Francisco is filled with tons of historical film locations, backdrop landmarks, and more.
These are perfect spots for evening get-togethers, cast outings, or general movie-buff excursions after you've finished filming on set.
The city is filled with actors all the time and you may be lucky enough to spot Melanie Griffith, Anne Hathaway, Michael Keaton, Michael Douglas, or even Tom Hardy while you are filming your own movie on Chestnut Street or Alamo Square Park!
Actors of old that have filmed here include Al Capone, Sean Connery, and Robin Williams as well. Francis Ford Coppola was fond of filming here too.
You may recognize some San Francisco locations in films and TV shows like "Pacific Rim," "Basic Instinct," "Joy Luck Club," "Dirty Harry, and "Full House," and "Fuller House," featuring the endearing Tanner family.
Look out for the San Francisco war memorial, Fort Point, Guadalupe Canyon Parkway and Steiner St!
Let’s start with an iconic landmark that’s known around the world: The Golden Gate Bridge, the bright-orange behemoth.
The Golden Gate Bridge has been around for more than 80 years and has been seen in countless movies including "Star Trek," "Dirty Harry," Alfred Hitchcock’s "Vertigo," John Huston’s crime classic "The Maltese Falcon," and of course, the opening credits of "Full House" and "Fuller House."
San Francisco’s elegant City Hall has been a backdrop in several hit movies. You can spot it in "The Wedding Planner" with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, and in the classic "Dirty Harry" with Clint Eastwood.
San Francisco Chinatown, the largest outside of Asia and the oldest in North America is filled with attractions, culture, and history.
It too has been in its fair share of blockbuster films including "Dirty Harry in The Dead Pool," "The Age of Adaline," and "Big Trouble in Little China."
The notorious Alcatraz island penitentiary is one of the city's most well-known landmarks. With a lighthouse, fortified rock wall, and an ocean moat, this site has contained some of the world's worst criminals and is a near-perfect setting for a crime film.
It comes as no surprise that it has been featured in movies like "Escape from Alcatraz," Sean Connery's "The Rock," and "Birdman of Alcatraz."
Museums, lush gardens, over 1,000 acres of space, and a convenient, urban location, Golden Gate Park is a top spot to shoot movie and TV show scenes in The Golden City.
This sprawling outdoor setting has been featured in several films over the years, including "Basic Instinct," "Contagion," and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home."
Ancient Rome-themed Palace of Fine Arts is an iconic city structure that's not only a popular tourist destination but also a favorite filming location in the Bay Area.
The palace's prominent pillars and soaring rotunda, and the sparkling lagoons that surround it provide a dramatic backdrop for productions and photo shoots alike.
This larger-than-life architectural masterpiece has been shown in scenes in "So I Married an Axe Murderer," "Vertigo", "The Rock," and "Bicentennial Man."