Monterey County Film Commission Blog

Lights, Camera, Economic Action

Use of Drones in Monterey County for Filming

From the California Film Commission:
The FAA’s permanent regulations regarding the use of drones for commercial use (Unmanned Aircraft Rule – Part 107) will go into effect in August. Until then, the California Film Commission will be reviewing the implications of the new regulations and creating revised guidelines for filming on state-owned and operated properties. Therefore, please check the CFC website at:
Requirements for the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) When Filming on State Property or call Eve Honthaner at 323-860-2960, ext. 136, to get the latest information on the State’s policies pertaining to the use of drones. Also note that until further notice, both State Parks and Caltrans will be reviewing requests for the use of drones on a case-by-case basis; and if approved, their own guidelines will apply.

Location Spotlight: Home On the Range?

Rancho CienegaHome on the range? While Monterey County is famous for its dramatic coastline, we also have ranches and expansive “Steinbeck Country” rural looks that have been the settings for commercials, fashion shoots, indie films and more. Cow and cowboys…horses…dirt roads and open land.

Monterey County Film Commission Featured in Carmel Magazine

Monterey County Film Commission Featured in Carmel Magazine
Monterey County Film Commission Featured in Carmel Magazine

Monterey County Film Commission is the featured story in the latest Carmel Magazine edition. The publication highlights the HBO shoot, “Big Little Lies,” which filmed earlier in the year in Monterey and Pacific Grove, and stars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.

Monterey County Film Commission 2016 Student Scholarship Winners

2016 Student Scholarship Winners
Brianna Beavers and Rose Mercurio 2016 Winners

Brianna Beavers and Rose Mercurio, both seniors in the Cinematic Arts and Technology Department at California State University, Monterey Bay, were each named winners of a scholarship in the 2016 Monterey County Film Commission’s Director Emeritus Richard Tyler Film Student Scholarship Award Program.

Both students received a $1,500 check and a framed certificate presented by Jeff Clark, Monterey County Film Commission president and film scholarship chairperson.

The Monterey County Film Commission’s scholarship program was created to provide financial aid and incentive to students of film as well as beginning filmmakers who reside in Monterey County or those enrolled in a college or university in the county. The fund was established as a permanent endowment with the Community Foundation for Monterey County.

Film Commission Elects Kathleen Eckerson to Board of Directors

Kathleen Eckerson - Board of DirectorsThe Monterey County Film Commission board of directors has elected Kathleen Eckerson to serve a three-year term on the nonprofit organization’s board.

Eckerson is a wealth management advisor and owner of Suddenly Single Wealth Management® in Pebble Beach. She has a diverse background in economic development from senior management and consultant roles with the City of Fresno and County of Fresno, as well as the County of Monterey. Previously she was senior management analyst for the City and County of Fresno, and an instructor at California State University, Fresno, teaching their capstone course, strategy and policy. She also served as Fiserv, Inc.’s regional vice president of marketing, sales, client services, negotiations and corporate communications in their Fresno regional office.

Monterey County Board of Supervisors Honored By Film Commission

Reel Vision Award presented to former Supervisor Marc Del Piero pictured below
with MCFC Board President Jeff Clark and Board Chair Gloria Gargiulo

Monterey County Film Commission’s Board of Directors honored Monterey County Board of Supervisors
Photos: Robert Stanley

When the idea of creating a Monterey County Film Commission was being considered by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in 1987, it was then Supervisor Marc Del Piero—along with Supervisor Sam Karas—who championed the cause. They hoped the county would benefit from the economic boost that on-location film production could bring to the area. Little did they know that by 2015 film productions would have meant more than $92 million in economic impact for Monterey County’s communities.

Monterey County Film Commission 2015 Student Scholarship Winner

2015 Student Scholarship WinnerChelsea Amarillas, a student at California State University, Monterey Bay, was named the winner of a $2,000 scholarship in the 2015 Monterey County Film Commission’s Director Emeritus Richard Tyler Film Student Scholarship & Awards Program. She is a Marina resident and a senior in the Cinematic Arts and Technology Department.

Chelsea Amarillas at CameraAmarillas will use the award to help cover costs for her final thesis capstone film, “A Father’s Love.” She describes the story as a dark and enchanting tale that illustrates the importance of family. Filming will be begin in the fall, and she has begun looking for locations in Monterey County, including a Victorian-style house. “The stylization of the film is modern but with Victorian elements, and this award will allow me to achieve the level of quality production design that I had hoped to,” Amarillas said.

“Receiving this scholarship is an honor because I was selected from a group of talented peers, and it is encouraging as a young filmmaker to be recognized and rewarded for the craft that I am just beginning,” Amarillas said. “The award will be of great assistance financially in the production of a film that is near to my heart and one that I am very excited to see come to life.”