×

‘American Sniper’ Producers Tout California as Shooting Location

A trio of “American Sniper” producers have issued an enthusiastic endorsement of shooting in California at a time when the Golden State’s tax credit program is on the verge of tripling in size to $330 million annually.

“I think the expansion is fantastic,” said producer Andrew Lazar. “I’ve budgeted so many films where you’d shoot five days in California and the rest outside of the state because you were chasing the incentive money. And I’ve seen so many people who have had to move to Atlanta and Louisiana because the incentives are better.”

Lazar and producers Rob Lorenz and Peter Morgan were on hand at the 1600 Vine project in Hollywood to receive the Los Angeles City Council’s Made-in-Hollywood Honors, recognizing Academy Award-nominated films made substantially in California.

Lazar said all but 11 days of Warner Bros.’ “American Sniper” were shot in California, including a gun range and beaches in Malibu, Long Beach, San Diego, the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita and an abandoned milk factory in El Centro — which substituted for Sadr City and Fallujah in Iraq. The other 11 days were shot in Morocco.

“We wanted to honor the fact that much of the narrative, such as Chris Kyle’s SEAL training and his meeting his wife, took place in California,” Lazar added. “It’s where the best locations and the best crews are.”

Popular on Variety

As producers of the film, Lazar, Lorenz and Morgan are all nominated for a best picture Oscar along with Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper.

“American Sniper” received a $6.8 million reservation for tax credits from the California Film Commission last year for $54 million in qualified expenditures. Most of the $100 million in annual allocations go to TV series, but “American Sniper” received its allocation after several projects selected in the state’s lottery failed to start production by the deadline.

Last summer’s lottery selected 26 projects from a total of 497 submissions.

“It was extremely helpful to get the credit, but the program was also something that you could not count on,” said Lorenz, Eastwood’s longtime producing partner. “There are obviously going to be more projects shooting in California once the new program starts.”

The state’s new five-year program goes into effect on July 1 and expands the eligibility of TV and film projects.

The City Council also honored a trio of Oscar-nominated films — “Whiplash,” “Big Hero 6” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2” — for shooting in California.

More Film

  • Father

    'Father': Film Review

    “Father” begins with a mother. Dragging her two sullen, uncomprehending kids along with her, Biljana (Nada Šargin) strides onto the grounds of the factory from which her husband was let go more than a year before and harangues the foreman about the severance package they still have not received. The children are hungry, she wails, [...]

  • Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm

    'Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street': Film Review

    In 1985, New Line rushed out a sequel to its breakout horror hit of the prior year. But while commercially successful enough, “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” was initially disliked by mainstream horror fans, then later won cult status, for the same reason: It struck many as “the gayest horror film of [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    HBO Seeks Dismissal of Michael Jackson Estate's Suit Over 'Leaving Neverland'

    HBO urged an appeals court on Friday to throw out litigation brought by the Michael Jackson estate over the 2019 documentary “Leaving Neverland.” HBO and the Jackson estate have been locked in a legal war ever since the premium cable network agreed to run the documentary, which chronicles child sexual abuse allegations against Jackson. The [...]

  • Denzel Washington

    Film News Roundup: Denzel Washington-Rami Malek Thriller Set for Early 2021 Release

    In today’s film news roundup, a Denzel Washington-Rami Malek thriller gets a release date, “Escape Room 2” gets moved, Paramount sets a double feature, “So Cold the River” wraps and the Sonoma Film Festival unveils its lineup. RELEASE DATES Warner Bros. has set the Denzel Washington-Rami Malek police thriller “The Little Things” for a Jan. 29, [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Writers Guild Says It Helped Negotiate 100 Deals for Agent-Less Members

    The Writers Guild of America has asserted that it has assisted in negotiating more than 100 deals in recent months for members without agents. The missive from the WGA West board of directors comes nearly a year after the guild leaders ordered their 15,000 members to fire their agents if the agents had not agreed [...]

  • the jesus rolls

    Émilie Simon Contributes Flamenco/Gypsy Vibe to John Turturro's ‘The Jesus Rolls’

    For French musician Émilie Simon, the flamenco-meets-gypsy vibe writer-director John Turturro was seeking for the soundtrack to his movie “The Jesus Rolls” turned out to be in her musical and genetical DNA. “This music originally comes from where I grew up in the south of France,” says the 41-year-old electronic musician, who has released five [...]

  • My Hero Academia Heroes Rising

    'My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising' ADR Director on Adapting the Anime for a U.S. Audience

    “My Hero Academia” has officially Detroit Smashed into North American theaters. Sony Pictures Television’s Funimation released “Heroes Rising” in the U.S. on Wednesday, grossing $2.5 million on its opening day. Theaters are showing the film, a standalone entry in the popular superhero anime based on the manga, with options for either subtitles or with an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content