Category Archives: San Juan Capistrano

The 1920s film, “The Mark of Zorro,” was filmed in San Juan Capistrano – 

When “Rosewood” co-executive producer Vahan Moosekian was scouting a location to stand in as Miami, he and his crew drove south to Orange County and found what they were looking for.

Miami’s famous beaches would be played by Huntington and Laguna Beach, while Anaheim would take the stage as some of Miami’s diverse neighborhoods.

“We were scouting locations for a bar and house and we looked all over and we found them in Anaheim,” Moosekian said. “The house (on Lemon Street) looked like it belonged in Florida and then we found the (Off-Limits) bar just a few miles away.”

Huntington and Laguna Beach are well known filming locales, but Anaheim – outside of Disneyland – less so. A new push by the city to encourage more filming of movies, television shows and commercials is changing that.

“Rosewood,” a Fox television crime drama starring Morris Chestnut and Jaina Lee Ortiz, is among the more than 100 film, television and commercial productions that have filmed in the city since last year. “Rosewood” crews spent 41 days in Anaheim.

Other shows using Anaheim as a backdrop include the second season of HBO’s crime series “True Detective,” which filmed at the city’s transportation hub ARTIC; Showtime’s drama “Roadies” used the Convention Center; and another Fox series, “Bones,” has feature Anaheim Ice.

“We’ve become the best place in Orange County to shoot movies and TV shows,” Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said. “With a low-cost fee, a single-point of contact and a variety of architecture and settings, Anaheim allows production companies to easily match locations to their scripts. This is a great way to promote our city.”

The Film Anaheim initiative began in January 2015, a few months after Gov. Jerry Brown tripled incentives from $100 million to $330 million in the state’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program. Under the program, producers chosen by the California Film Commission can receive tax credits for filming outside of a 30-mile zone that is centered in Los Angeles at Beverly Boulevard and La Cienega; hiring a certain number of people and reserving expenditures for visual effects and other job-producing elements. They can get up to a 25 percent credit off the total cost of the production.

Since the start of Film Anaheim, the city has generated more than $22,000 from permits and business licensing. On top of that, the city has raised money by renting out the use of facilities.

“The state passed this because we were losing so much in terms of jobs, promotion and ancillary business that grow from the film and television industry to other states and countries,“ Orange County Film Commissioner Janice Arrington said. “Now, L.A. is booming again and that’s good news for Orange County. When more locations are needed, they come out here.”

The county has a long history of films being made in its cities, dating as far back as the dawn of the silent movies era in the early 1900s.

The 1920s film, “The Mark of Zorro,” was filmed in San Juan Capistrano. Fans of the 1960s TV comedy “Gilligan’s Island” will tell you the seven stranded castaways are somewhere in Newport Beach. Most recently, the Seal Beach Pier served as the San Diego backdrop for a scene in “American Sniper.”

Arrington said there’s been an uptick in productions in Orange County since Brown expanded the tax credit program. The Orange County Film Commission facilitates filming and helps market locations and resources to the entertainment industry.

In 2012, “American Horror Story” filmed in Santa Ana, and the new “CHiP” movie also visited the city. Arrington said the pilot for “MacGyver” began shooting this week in Cypress.

Moosekian said having the production in Anaheim and other parts of Orange County has been convenient.

“It’s easier to produce a show in and around Los Angeles,” he said. “This is where the business originated. Some of the most talented people are here: visual effects, make up artists, prop artist, and the warehouses are here. We don’t have to bring all that stuff to Albuquerque or Atlanta. … As a producer, anything I need I can get it, and find it, here. And I happen to like to go home and sleep on my own bed.”

San Juan Capistrano Hidden House Coffee’s New Location

By May, the San Juan Capistrano microroaster will have quadrupled in size.

The indie microroaster has had a single, very charming location in the city’s Los Rios Historic District since 2010, but is breaking out in a big way, quadrupling its size in a very short period of time. Two new locations are already up and running, in fact, the result of last month’s acquisition of ChocXO coffee shops in Costa Mesa and Lake Forest. And a downtown Santa Ana location, in the works for 10 months, is due to open in May.

Expanding quickly to four locations will undoubtedly be a little bit of a shock to the system of the very hands-on coffee company. Owner Ben Briggs says, “We are all about quality versus quantity. The hardest challenge for the existing cafes is the fact that we are a ‘new’ business going into a business that locals loved. We really just want the opportunity to gain the previous customers’ loyalty.”

All the Hidden House locations will carry ChocXO retail chocolate products, and the ganache-like liquid chocolate that makes luscious mocha drinks remains, thank goodness—only now, of course, mixed with Hidden House’s superior, hand-roasted coffee, and strategically available in four different corners of Orange County. (Well, three corners, until DTSA opens next month.) Seriously, how often does something that’s already good get even better?

Ortega Highway Rollover Prompts Dramatic Rescue

San Juan Capistrano, CA – Orange County firefighters worked for an hour to save a woman whose car rolled down a steep embankment.

For unknown reasons, her veered off the road and rolled 20 feet down a steep embankment off Ortega Highway, trapping the woman inside. The wreck happened west of the US Forest Service Fire Station at 35505 Ortega Highway.

"She went about 20 feet below the road and sustained shoulder injuries, minor head injuries and abrasions," he said. "Fortunately, she was wearing her seat belt or she would have been more seriously injured."

Firefighters with the Orange County Fire Authority worked for an hour stabilize the car in order to use the jaws of life to pull the woman to safety.

The victim, who is in her mid-30s, was flown by helicopter to Mission Hospital in moderate condition, Concialdi said.