Big Cities: 15. San Diego, California
Beach-centric, with the world’s best fish tacos and geeks flocking annually to cosplay at Comic-Con, San Diego is ripe for the taking. A steep price comes in exchange for that enviable quality of life—as 2016 came to a close, residents reportedly paid on average over $1,700 per month for a one-bedroom. But otherwise, the world is your avocado.
Proximity to L.A. means that many travel north to access production services and facilities, but local options are solid, like rental house San Diego Film Equipment and full-service studio KPBS Production Services. Recent production activity has leaned episodic: Netflix’s Ingobernable, Fox’s Pitch and TNT’s Animal Kingdom.
The best thing may be that the City of San Diego is investing in film for the future—a dedicated official film staff was hired in 2015, and upcoming initiatives include a user-friendly online permit application system, regional location gallery and production directory. San Diego will be anything but a fair-weather film friend in the future, so moviemakers warming to the idea of the SoCal lifestyle may want to strongly consider it.