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San Diego ranked among top 20 cities for movie makers to film

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Posted at 2:33 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-12 17:38:22-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego's film industry has more going for it than the next "Top Gun" movie.

The region was named among the top 20 cities to live and work as a movie maker by MovieMaker Magazine this month, in an analysis ranking film activity, tax incentives, ease of movement and traffic, and population.

The honor highlights San Diego's diverse population and regional features, such as deserts, lakes, mountains, and rivers, which allow the area to double as different parts of the world.

PHOTOS: Movies filmed in San Diego

"San Diego is an film-friendly destination and a hub for eclectic cultural filmmaking, appealing to filmmakers looking for versatile backdrops and creative opportunities within a boutique setting," Alma Rife, public information officer with the city, said.

Rife points to one example by the San Diego Zoo's Africa Rocks exhibit, which used Mission Trails Regional Park to double as Africa (from 0:04 - 0:06):

And productions such as "Top Gun," which filmed for six weeks in San Diego for "Top Gun: Maverick" late last year, are adding to more possibilities.

“With Mayor Faulconer’s support, we have been able to attract local, national and international filmmakers to San Diego,” Brandy Shimabukuro, the San Diego’s film liaison, said in a release. “Film productions such as the Top Gun sequel and others have bolstered our civic pride and positively impacted our local economy."

But it's not the only major production to find San Diego appealing. In the past three years, San Diego has permitted 4,900 filming days on city public property, according to Rife.

RELATED: Maverick lands in San Diego: Tom Cruise spotted on set of 'Top Gun" sequel

There were 1,600 filming dates permitted in just 2018, a 40 percent increase from 2017. This includes projects from major studios and networks like Paramount Pictures, VICE, E! Network, Comedy Central, HBO, and National Geographic, according to Rife.

Television series like TNT's "Animal Kingdom," which was set in Oceanside, and episodes of ABC's "The Bachelor," TBS's "Conan," CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage," and many more have filmed in San Diego.

National commercials and advertising campaigns have also used San Diego for filming, including ads from companies like Facebook, Nike, Bose, JetBlue, Lululemon, and numerous automobile companies.