Video Production Crew in Orange County
A Basic Survival Guide to Booking Video Crew & Shooting On-Location in the ‘OC’
The 2nd most populous county in the state of California and 5th in the United States, Orange County has grown from a cattle baron’s empire into an international mecca for high tech industries. Most famous as a tourist destination, the county is home to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, the Los Angeles Angels and the Anaheim Ducks as well as beautiful sandy beaches, five star hotels and world class golf courses. The area also received some spotlight as a hot spot for the rich and famous when it was featured as the location setting for the popular Fox Network television series ‘The OC’. The county seat is in Santa Ana but the city of Irvine is it’s primary business hub and the center of Southern California’s ‘Tech Coast’. The Anaheim convention center hosts some of the largest conventions on the west coast. Due to the dense population and it’s prosperous business centers, some thoughtful planning is probably a good idea before scheduling a location shoot in Orange county. Also, individual cities may have their own location permit requirements. We believe the information and links on this page can be of help even if you’re an old hand at shooting. We believe the information and links on this page can be of help with pre-production planning as well as finding video production crew even if you’re an old hand at video taping on location in Southern California.
The OC emulates a Mediterranean type climate but, contrary to popular folklore, it really does rain occasionally in southern California. The “rainy season” (if you want to call it that) normally runs from November through April. Also, very high or low temperature ranges and extreme winds can sometimes be a problem depending on region and the time of year. The deserts can be 90-100F in the daytime and 40-20F at night during the winter. Beaches and coastal regions are often foggy, overcast and drizzly in May and June. During the late spring and early fall there can be “Santa Ana winds” in excess of 60mph. This occurs when air is forced down the mountain slopes out towards the Pacific coast; the air mass is further heated by compression as it drops in altitude before reaching the Santa Ana/Irvine basin. Santa Ana winds can stop an exterior shoot dead in it’s tracks but are very predictable. Keep a close eye on long range weather reports and avoid shooting exteriors during Santa Ana wind conditions.
Adjacent to LA County and nearly as heavily populated, the freeways and surface streets in Orange County are prone to heavy traffic congestion. During peak rush hours getting talent, crew and equipment to locations can take a long time, especially on rainy days. Planning for possible traffic delays will help keep schedules moving. Pre-plan carefully, leave early and check the live traffic maps link to the right.
Within the county’s borders, other entities and jurisdictions may exist, with separate requirements, fees and permits of their own. Individual cities, beaches, parks, federal lands and private property owners all may play a part in the puzzle. Contacting the Orange County Film Commission early in the pre-planning process can make getting legal permission to shoot at your chosen location(s) a simple process.
Whether your production is union or not, it may still be necessary to hire union sound, lighting and camera crew if a venue you wish to shoot at is union affiliated. Motion picture studios, broadcast networks, convention centers and theme parks, etc., may have specific requirements regarding the use of non-union technicians working on the premises. However, non-union crews are often allowed within guidelines. If you’re unsure about a possibly unionized location, it’s always safer to ask in advance than to encounter a problem at the last minute.
Feel free to contact us if you are planning a location shoot anywhere in the southern California area. Although we can’t always predict things like weather, local bureaucracies, or video production crews other than ours, we’re always happy to discuss ways to avoid typical pitfalls and make your shoot as stress free and productive as possible.