Hooray for Santa Clarita
That screwy, ballyhooey Santa Clarita
...Go out and try your luck,
You might be Donald Duck
Hooray for Santa Clarita
The Walt Disney Company last week announced that it would build a 56-acre production facility in Santa Clarita, which is in the middle of nowhere on the way to Bakersfield. The reason is simple – to cut down on runaway production costs.
When you hear “Santa Clarita” in the news or read about it in the papers it’s usually accompanied by the word “evacuations”. Until now, brush fires have been its claim to fame.
But soon it will be the show business capital of the world!
There are already shows that film out there. All of the CSI’s and NCIS’s, BIG LOVE, and several Fox Family Channel sitcoms. 24 as well, which is perfect for Jack Bauer since Santa Clarita is also the home of the NYX Sleep Disorder Center.
This is all part of the mass exodus from Hollywood due to skyrocketing production costs and tax demands. Shows that once were housed in major studios are now being filmed in New Mexico, Connecticut, and to prove how nuts things are – ABC moved UGLY BETTY from LA to New York. New York is cheaper???
Meanwhile, Paramount Studios is practically a ghost town today.
The once proud Hollywood Lane Parade will soon become the daily commute on the 405 and 5 freeways. I predict that one month after Disney opens their new Santa Clarita studio 80% of its employees will be in traffic school to get their speeding tickets erased from their record.
Lots of folks will be inconvenienced but hey, they still have jobs. It’s the non-industry people who my heart goes out to.
For example: Starline Tour guides. This can’t be easy for them. Instead of saying, “This was where Clark Gable kissed Vivien Leigh in GONE WITH THE WIND”, they’ll now have to say, “This is the warehouse where for years most of the country’s tampons were stored.” It’s just not the same. Not to mention the extra hour driving time to get to that warehouse. And what do they fill with along the way? “If you look to your right, just past the Roscoe exit, you can see the Chevron station where Chloe Sevigny took her car when it once overheated.”
In theory, these new studios mean more room to stretch out. But even with all the acres of extra space you know there still won’t be sufficient parking for writers. They’ll have to leave their cars at the Home Depot and take the shuttle.
But if there is a silver lining to all this production moving to where Moses left his sandals it’s that show runners might receive a little less interference. Network and studio execs tend not to go to places they can’t find.
Still, it’s a little sad. The end of an era. There was always a certain aura and mystique about Hollywood. It’s where they made the “magic” and it was special. The Dream Factory was never adjacent to the glue factory. Alas, in a few years, “Tinsel Town” will be changed to just “Tin Town”.