Top 10 locations for video production in Los Angeles
It is every filmmaker’s dream to come to the point when they are working on a project that is being filmed in Los Angeles, the world’s capital of film, television and video production. We mostly hear amazing stories about Hollywood’s legendary studios, but it rarely comes to anyone’s attention that LA has some of the most stunning outdoor locations, that have been used for film or video productions. Here are some of the breathtaking sites around LA where some of the best-known scenes in the history of popular culture were filmed.
Zuma’s Point Dume Beach, Malibu
One of the largest beaches in LA has a long history in the movies and videos. Perhaps best known for the iconic finishing scene in the original ‘Planet of the Apes’, this location offers an awe-inspiring view that can make any UK video production for UK lifestyle brands, look like a million dollars.
It is no secret that leading advertising experts have a soft spot for the Zuma Beach locations, since a huge amount of advertisements, both for print and video, has been filmed here. In order to get the necessary permits to shoot at this astounding beach, you need to contact the Malibu Film Office. You can find more information at this link.
Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Hills
For any film buff, this location doesn’t need a special introduction. For more than 80 years, this has been the site where some of the most memorable scenes in movie history have been created. This is the very site where the legendary ‘Rebel without a Cause’ was filmed. More recently you could have seen this location in this year’s Oscar-nominated ‘LaLa Land’
Over the years, countless television, music video, and advertisement productions have used this location, because of its uniqueness and the breathtaking view that accompanies it. The observatory has strict filming regulations and photographing or filming here without a permit is highly prohibited. Follow this link to get all the necessary instructions for obtaining the required permits.
The backdrop for hundreds of LA police and crime dramas. One of our favorite movies, Colatoral was shot around downtown LA using primarily practical lighting at night – check it out for some amazing cinematic work from Michael Mann and his cinematogrphers; Dion Beebe, and Paul Cameron. As a UK video production company we often shoot over in LA because of all the creative opportunities that you have. Every street corner is like a set and the natural ambient light is consistent and beautiful for filming in the day or the night. We shot our content video for Adidas in and around Downtown LA. On Sunday if you visit downtown you are very likely to see a film set on just about every block you turn down.
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park
The list of productions that have used this location is quite long. Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park was first used in 1935, by a Universal Pictures production. Since then countless ads, music videos, feature films and TV productions have been filmed here.
As you might have expected you can just show up here and start shooting, although it would be awesome, wouldn’t it? L.A. County Parks is in charge of issuing permits for this location, and it is best if you contact them if you wish to use this location. You can find more information here.
Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet
Located in the Historic Core district, Cole’s is the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles. It opened in 1908 and operated without interruption until 2007 when it was renovated. During that time it has built a reputation as one of the premier locations for filming bar scenes. You might remember it from such masterpieces like Se7en or Forest Gump.
There is no special permit required to film here, but you probably need to get a nod from the restaurant’s management.
Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome
Perfect for the productions that want to revive the look and feel of the early 20th century, Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome was and still is one of the best location choices you can make if you are filming in L.A. Located on a beautiful Santa Monica Pier, this entire location seems as if it fell out of the roaring twenties.
The most notable production that used this location was the Oscar-winning ‘The Sting’ with Paul Newman as the lead actor. In order to organize a set in this location, you need to get in touch with the department of Community and Cultural services of the City of Santa Monica.
Dockweiler State Beach
Another beautiful beach on this list, Dockweiler State Beach is frequently featured in car commercials as well as in full feature flicks. It is a perfect outdoor location that has a lot to offer to any production that chooses to shoot here. The beach is more than 3 miles long, which provides plenty of space for a variety of beautiful shots.
The permit to film here is easily attainable, you just need to apply for one at L.A. County Beaches and Harbors Film and Photo permit department. You can find more information here.
Point Fermin Park, San Pedro
Located at the southernmost point of Los Angeles, Point Fermin Park has a lot of breathtaking locations that will provide the great scenery for your videos. This park is home to many venues that can be interesting choices for video productions, among them are the famous Victorian Point Fermin Lighthouse, Band Shell and astounding vistas of the Pacific Ocean.
The same rules for obtaining permits apply to Point Fermin Park, like for all other parks in Los Angeles.
LA County Arboretum
Established in 1947, the Arboretum has been the site where countless TV shows, Films, and commercials have been filmed. The most iconic place of the entire complex is the Queen Ann Cottage best known as the home of Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand in ‘Meet the Fockers’.
Located east of Downtown L.A the entire complex, which also includes the Botanical Gardens is a dream come true for film and video professionals in need of a location that can offer uniqueness and authenticity. You can get all the necessary information about obtaining the permission to shoot here at this link.
Arroyo Seco’s Gabrielino Trail
This is a perfect location if you need to get away from the urban landscapes while remaining near the city. You might have seen this location in movie gems such as Michel Gondry’s ‘Human Nature’ or Rob Reiner’s ‘North’. Its jungle-like atmosphere is perfectly suited for productions that are in need of authentic nature.
In order to get the required permission for filming at this location, you need to get in touch with Pasadena city officials.