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Mission Statement
The San Diego Film Commission is dedicated to promoting San Diego as a film-friendly region, coordinating and facilitating the permission process and serving as a liaison with local government, the community, and the production industry. 

In the early 1970s, the television series Harry-O came to San Diego as an alternative to Los Angeles and in search of new locations.  Unfortunately, the production encountered numerous obstacles from local government including lengthy delays in obtaining permits, and arbitrary fees and costs levied by various departments.  Due to these obstacles, the series returned to Los Angeles after filming only a few episodes in San Diego.

Prior to San Diego playing as a backdrop in the series, location filming produced less than $400,000 in annual economic impact in the region. In a matter of months, Harry-O generated more than $1.5 million in economic impact, employed hundreds of San Diegans as talent and crew, and created positive media exposure for the region. Losing Harry-O prompted leaders in both the production and business community to approach Mayor Pete Wilson, along with his counterparts at the County Board of Supervisors and the Port of San Diego, to create an entity allowing San Diego to successfully compete in the marketplace and foster the growth of this valuable industry in the region. In 1976, Mayor Wilson established the San Diego Motion Picture and Television Bureau, as the one stop shop for the production industry in San Diego.

By the early 1980s, the Bureaus efforts to market San Diego as a prime filming destination and create a streamlined permission process resulted in a surge of San Diego-filmed projects.  These projects such as Simon & Simon and Top Gun, created jobs for San Diegans and more than $5 million in economic impact. The Bureau, later known as the San Diego Film Commission to reflect the entire industry ranging from feature films, television, commercials and print/still photo, became a model for other cities around the country. The Film Commission revolutionized the film permission process by implementing the innovative concept of the "roundtable meeting, which put all the experts at one table, eliminating duplication and multiple trips to various public safety agencies and government departments.

During the 1990s, projects such as Silk Stalkings, Traffic, and Antwone Fisher took advantage of San Diegos streamlined permission process and multiple incentives. In November 1997, the Film Commission moved from under the auspice of the Chamber of Commerce to become an independent, non-profit corporation solely dedicated to the development of the production industry in San Diego.  The Film Commission continues to be supported and funded as an economic development program by the City, County and the Port of San Diego all recognizing the increased jobs for San Diegans, priceless media exposure, and positive economic and civic impact generated from filming.

Today, the Film Commission remains one of the most effective, highly successful film commissions throughout the world, recognized for its services and dedication to fostering the growth of filmmaking in the San Diego region.