Video Production Crew in San Bernardino

A Basic Survival Guide to Booking Video Crew & Shooting On-Location in the Inland Empire

With an area of 20,105 square miles, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States by area. It is larger than each of the nine smallest states, larger than the four smallest states combined, and larger than 71 different sovereign nations. The Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area in Alaska is larger than San Bernardino County, but it is part of Alaska’s unorganized borough and thus not a county.
Located in southeast California, the thinly populated deserts and mountains of this vast county stretch from where the bulk of the county population resides in two Census County Divisions, some 1,422,745 people as of the 2010 Census, covering the 450 square miles south of the San Bernardino Mountains in San Bernardino Valley, to the Nevada border and the Colorado River.

Because of all this, it helps to be armed with some advanced information before booking production crew, equipment and scheduling location shoots within county borders. Also, individual cities may have their own location filming requirements. We believe the information and links on this page can be of help even if you’re an old hand at shooting in the Inland Empire.

Weather:

San Bernardino county runs from mountainous to  arid climate. The deserts are extremely dry but receive considerable frost and snow in the wintertime along with the mountains. The “rainy season” usually 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 90-100+F in the daytime and 40-20F at night during the winter. Western regions can sometimes be foggy, overcast and drizzly in May and June. Santa Ana winds can stop an exterior shoot dead in it’s tracks but are very predictable well in advance.  Riverside tends to have near perfect, sunny weather the majority of the time. Just keep an eye on the weather predictions as you would anytime you plan to shoot exteriors.

Traffic:

Both the freeways and surface streets are notorious for severe traffic congestion, and the area’s freeway-to-freeway interchanges regularly rank among the top 10 most congested points in the country. Depending on the time of day and driving conditions, getting the crew and equipment to locations can take much longer than the point-to-point distances normally would indicate. Realistic travel times are necessary in order to keep schedules on track. Pre-plan carefully, leave early and check the live traffic maps link to the right.

Permits:

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. This can make getting legal permission to shoot at your chosen location(s) a long and trying process. You can often avoid hassles by enlisting a single agency who will act as your liaison between the various entities concerned. If you don’t want to do it yourself, we suggest contacting the Inland Empire Film Commision. They can handle all the details for you so you can get on with shooting your project.

Unions:

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.

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