From classic films, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, and George Lucas’ American Graffiti to modern films, such as Scream and Steve Martin’s Cheaper by the Dozen, Sonoma County has long been a popular location for movies, TV shows and commercials.
Are you looking for a film location in Sonoma? We have you covered!
Obtain a Film Permit
The Sonoma County Film Office provides assistance and support for film crews seeking to film in the County. Our objective is to make it easier for you to get your job done.
Tax Credits for Filmmakers
In September 2014, the State of California passed an incentive program to increase filming in California. Overview of incentives:
- Increases tax credit funding from $100 million to $330 million per fiscal year
- Expands eligibility to big-budget feature films, 1-hr TV series and TV pilots
- Eliminates budget caps for studio and independent films
- Eliminates existing tax credit lottery
- Provides for multiple allocation periods throughout the year.
- Adds a 5% “Uplift” for productions that film outside the 30-Mile Zone, as well as for visual effects and music scoring/recording performed in-state
More specifics about the incentives can be found at the California Film Commission website.
Sonoma County Filming by the Numbers
Sonoma County's diverse scenery and mild, year-round climate makes it an attractive location to make movies. In 2015, the Film Office facilitated 84 permits, which resulted in 184 days of filming and an economic impact of $4 million dollars into the County. This represents a 110% increase compared to economic impact activity in 2014.
For Film Lovers
Attend a Film Festival
Sonoma County is a great place to make movies and watch them too! Be sure to check out the many annual film festivals going on and around Sonoma County.
Tour your Favorite Movie Haunts
Sonoma County has been the setting for many popular Hollywood films, including American Graffiti, Pleasantville, Basic Instinct and Peggie Sue Got Married. Check out a list of movies filmed in Sonoma County.
If you are planning a visit, be sure to look at Sonoma County Movie Locations Tour Itinerary to view popular film locations.