About South Pasadena
South Pasadena is a city located in the beautiful San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles county, California. It's notable for its pleasant small-town charm, cozy neighborhoods, and thriving downtown district full of quaint cafes, bars, and unique shops. Although South Pasadena is known as charmingly low-key, it is also well known around the entertainment industry as a top filming destination.
Netflix's 'Never Have I Ever' and Hulu's 'Little Fires Everywhere' are two popular series that have recently been filmed in South Pasadena. Aside from well-known productions, the city has also appeared in many music videos, commercials, and feature films such as 'The Craft' and 'A Walk to Remember'.
But if you really want something interesting, did you know that ten percent of South Pasadena's population speaks Spanish? This measure of diversity makes it one of the most unique cities in California. Whether it’s work or play, South Pasadena has something for everyone!
Filming Options in South Pasadena
The local government and the residents are receptive to filming in South Pasadena because it is a major economic driver in this small city in central Los Angeles County. The Planning and Community Development Department maintains a film schedule on its website for residents and interested parties to be aware of film locations and possible street closures.
- Production and Post
It would seem efficient for the budget and the schedule if the same company was involved with both stages of filming. The process would be streamlined and the creative flow of ideas during filming would follow through the post. Any changes would be recognized, understood, and agreed upon.
Catering to a film shoot is a specific form of service that needs flexibility in the menu options and the serving detail. The caterers need the capability and the agility to keep to the pace of filming and any changes to it. The food and beverages need to be refreshed between meal servings. Food service as a form of event planning involves set-up, flow, delivery, and breakdown.
South Pasadena is welcoming to filmmakers. The city’s film office will act as the liaison between the production company, the community, and other city departments. The film office will take on the responsibility for all coordination. A permit is required whether filming takes place on private or public property. However, non-profits and student organizations may qualify for an exemption or a reduced permit fee.
Filming Vendors in South Pasadena
A film project will benefit from the hiring of local talent and labor for any stage of production to reinforce the merits of the tax incentive application. All outsourcing of talent for production will be considered local since South Pasadena is located within the 30-Mile Studio Zone. The local knowledge brought to the set will be priceless.
- Pitch 5 Productions
Production services in Los Angeles is a very competitive market, and it is necessary for these providers to be set apart from the competition. The services of Pitch 5 Productions extend from filming through the post. The in-house directors have expertise in all genres of storytelling, including experiential. The art and set designers during filming, and the editors and graphic designers in the post, will make for a streamlined process.
- Bite Catering
Located in Los Angeles, Bite Catering has built a reputation for customizing the menu, flow, and timeline of service to a variety of venues. These venues include film sets, as well as screenings, and premiers. The chefs and the servers are a part of the event team that plans and executes the catering plan. The service can be plate served, self-served, or packaged with eco-friendly disposables.
- California Film Commission
The California legislature enacted Senate Bill 144 in July 2021 to allocate an additional $150 Million toward tax credits for the construction or renovation of certified sound stages. The qualified production companies and the projects may receive a tax credit of 20% or 25% if filming occurs on a certified construction project. This tax credit became effective on January 1, 2022, and is due to be revisited in 10 years.
Pros and Cons of Filming in South Pasadena
There are many different aspects to filming in South Pasadena. You need to consider all pros and cons to decide if this city is the right option for filming.
- South Pasadena offers a wide range of film-friendly locations, such as historic and architectural sites, parks, museums, and more.
- South Pasadena has easy access to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), making it an attractive location for international productions.
- The city is known for its relaxed regulations regarding film production, allowing filmmakers to obtain permits quickly and easily.
- The City of South Pasadena has a dedicated Film Office that assists with scouting locations, obtaining permits, and other related services.
- The city also offers tax credits for qualifying production companies shooting in the area.
- Despite its proximity to LAX, certain areas within the City limits can be difficult to access due to limited public transportation options or lack of parking availability.
- While most residential neighborhoods are accommodating towards film production activities, they may need additional time and resources to ensure that local residents understand the scope of the project and any potential disruptions it may cause them.
- Traffic can be congested due to the number of commuters driving through town on their way into Los Angeles or other parts of Southern California each day.
- Some areas may be off limits to filming due to their sensitivity; like historical sites or protected properties that require special permission before being used as a filming location.
- Depending on the type of project being filmed, there may be strict noise regulations that must be followed so as not to disrupt nearby businesses or residences.
Tips on How to Organize Filming Locations in South Pasadena
When shooting your film in South Pasadena, there are a few essential points to consider when selecting and organizing the spots for production. So here's some advice that can help ensure everything runs like clockwork:
- Follow the rules: Make sure all potential contractors involved in the shoot are familiar with the rules and regulations for filming in South Pasadena. This includes knowledge about noise ordinances, neighborhood restrictions, filming permits, etc.
- Get permission: Contact local businesses and residents near your chosen filming locations to ensure their approval for having cameras on their property. Respect any requests they might have for certain activities not being filmed or how close cameras can get to their property or person.
- Plan an itinerary: Create a shooting schedule beforehand which should include call times, meal breaks, load in/out times, contact information for each venue/location manager, props/equipment rentals needed, transportation requirements (if applicable), etc., so everyone knows what is expected of them when they arrive on set.
- Get emergency contacts: Set up a personal emergency contact list should any emergencies arise during the shoot; include contact info for emergency services (police/fire), rental companies’ customer service lines (in case equipment fails), insurance companies’ claims lines (in case someone gets injured), etc.
- Safety first: Have crew members sign liability waivers before starting work and legal documents related to copyrights upon completion of the shoot; this protects both parties from any future issues that may arise due to miscommunication or misunderstanding of expectations from either side.
- Be aware: Make sure everyone is aware of local noise ordinances regarding sound levels when using generators or other loud equipment; always be conscious of neighboring businesses’ working hours as well so as not to disturb those who live nearby that may need quiet during certain times throughout the day/night cycle.
Famous Locations in South Pasadena
- Farmers’ Market
Unlike other farmers’ markets, the one sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce in South Pasadena is held every Thursday in the late afternoon. This event is held throughout the walkable commercial area and has been a mainstay since 2004. Local farmers, artisans, and musicians interact with the community. The businesses along the route remain open later on market days to accommodate the market’s hours.
- Griffins of Kinsdale
This Irish pub on Mission Street in the business district of South Pasadena is the favorite gathering place. Established in 2012, the local owner operates the business as an extension of his living room welcoming family and friends. The community’s patronage is a testament to the original definition of “pub” meaning public house.
- The Huntington
Located in San Marino two miles from South Pasadena, this popular venue is a combination of an art museum, botanical garden, and library. Through the exhibits, lectures, and programs, the visitors will experience both visual and intellectual learning. The programs are designed for children, and families and are often used as teacher resources.