Today Ventura is home to the famous Brooks Institute where students seeking careers in the Film Industry study Film and Video Production, Visual Journalism and Masters of Fine Arts in Screenwriting programs. The grounds include large sound stages and a back lot complete with western street scenes.
During the intervening years, Ventura's Filmography has included its courthouse hearing room being recreated in the Perry Mason television series as the series original author Erle Stanley Gardner was an attorney who practiced law in Ventura and patterned many of his stories after actual cases. Ventura was also home to Erin Brokovich both in real life and in the film of the same name. Swordfish and the Aviator as well as Little Miss Sunshine are among the more recent films where Ventura had a significant presence.
Ventura's early California architecture, vast farm fields, quaint neighborhoods, stunning harbor and native state beaches make lovely settings for filming. Famous as a surfing town, the shoreline and surf scene are often used as a backdrop for car commercials and other healthy living lifestyle settings. Nearby oil fields, wineries, mountains and the famous Fillmore and Western Hollywood Movie Trains, offer alternatives in filming not easily found so close to Los Angeles.
Celebrities including Kevin Costner and Larry Hagman make or have made the Ventura area home and often lend their talent to local charity functions and events.
Film Festivals are also found in Ventura with growing reputations for screening the best in new releases or re-screenings of classics with a thematic tie to the area or individual festival subjects. The Ventura Film Society offers an annual festival in March as well as special screenings throughout the year. The Ventura Film Festival takes place each June and the Ventura County Jewish Film Festival completed its seventh year of screening films at Temple Beth Torah in March 2010.
If you are a location scout looking for more detailed information or to schedule a site visit, please contact our Film Ventura office, located in the Ventura Visitors Center at 805-648-2075. Film Permit applications may be accessed online for the City and County.