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County supervisors approve creation of regional film office

The San Diego County Administration Building in this file photo taken on Dec. 13, 2020.
Alexander Nguyen
The San Diego County Administration Building in this file photo taken on Dec. 13, 2020.

San Diego County will establish a regional film office intended to create new job opportunities and support San Diego film and arts.

The Board of Supervisors, during their Tuesday regular meeting, voted unanimously in favor of the San Diego Regional Film Office, proposed by Chairman Nathan Fletcher.

In a statement afterward, Fletcher said the office "will help bring an infusion of new dollars into our local economy."


"The office will market our region to filmmakers and studios, and help to generate good-paying jobs as camera operators, stage-hands, lighting technicians and set builders," Fletcher said.

"Bringing more films to San Diego will support local restaurants, hotels, catering companies. It will also help to expand the influence of our local arts community."

RELATED: San Diego County supervisors to consider creation of regional film office

Fletcher unveiled the proposal during a Monday event at the Rooftop Cinema Club Embarcadero in San Diego.

"San Diego is the best location for filmmakers to work because of our fair climate, beautiful and diverse landscapes, and our talented workforce," he said. "A regional film office can serve as a one-stop-shop for the film industry.


"By cutting the red tape of coordinating permits with multiple jurisdictions, creating a centralized marketing message, and having a dedicated staff to champion San Diego as a destination for filmmakers and production studios, we can lift up our local economy," Fletcher said.

According to Fletcher's office, during the 35 years of the city of San Diego's Film Commission —

which went dormant in 2013 — there was an estimated $63.7 million in estimated production company spending in the region each year. In two years — 2005 and 2007 — an estimated $100 million was generated for the county.

Since the film commission shuttered, the city of San Diego has operated a Film Office. That will remain — now supplemented by the county enterprise.

"Attracting and supporting television and film production in San Diego is a great way to create high-quality local jobs, boost our economy, and enhance our place on the world stage," said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

"The city of San Diego's Film Office has for several years been working with production companies to facilitate filming here, and chair Fletcher's proposal to create a regional film office builds upon our efforts on a broader scale and bring more dollars to San Diego County."

Fletcher's policy proposal directs the county's chief administrative officer to negotiate the creation of a Regional Film Office with San Diego and the Port of San Diego, among others.

Port leaders support the idea because they manage parcels of land they believe would be great locations for filmmakers, and already issue permits for filming on the port tidelands.

"The Port of San Diego supports the creation of the San Diego Regional Film Office as our many on-the-water and waterfront locations on and along San Diego Bay are already quite popular with filmmakers," said Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Michael Zucchet.

"Everything from the new Rady Shell at Jacobs Park — used recently by Apple as the venue for the launch of the iPhone 13 — to the aircraft carrier USS Midway, Seaport Village, the Embarcadero, the iconic Imperial Beach Pier, the South Bay, the industrial sites from Barrio Logan to National City and more.

"Having a regional film office elevates our ability to market the region for TV and film production and creates the efficiency of a one-stop shop for permitting, producing economic benefits for many," Zucchet said.

The chief administrative officer would have until May to create the agreement.