Filming Locations for Rent in San Francisco, CA

Filming Locations for Rent in San Francisco, CA

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Top Filming Locations in San Francisco, CA

Are you on the lookout for a filming location where you’ll be able to shoot your next commercial, press video, fashion shoot, music video or any other project? You’ve come to the right place! San Francisco boasts a number of great spots where any task will become cinematic magic! To help you get to work as soon as possible, we’ve prepared a list of San Francisco’s best filming locations for you to choose from. Try out our smart search engine and find the perfect place for your upcoming project fast and easy.

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Filming Locations Rental Guide

Are you trying to shoot a short movie, a commercial or a music video that everyone will be talking about, yet have no idea how to do so? We suggest you start your plan by finding a special location. San Francisco is a great setting for any type of film, combining unique architecture with spectacular views. Sounds intriguing? We’ll try our best to help you find the perfect spot for your next production - all you need to do is browse through the filming locations listed on our platform!

We are aware that not everybody is a professional filmmaker with years of experience. In case you’re taking your first steps in movie-making and looking for an ambitious space that won’t break the bank, we’ve got you covered! On our platform you’ll be able to find filming locations suitable for all kinds of budgets and, what’s more, we’ve jotted down a few things that will guide you through the whole process. 

How to stay on budget when shooting a movie?

You will need to account for expenses in all aspects of your production. Some of them will have much higher costs than others, but don’t get discouraged - a fantastic film can happen even with a low budget. If that’s what you’re working with, we’ve prepared a few tips to help you stay within budget and create a cinematic experience like no other!

  • Think outside the box. Be open to many options and don’t stick to your initial idea. You’ll never know if it’s the best you could go for unless you try out other ideas. It may happen that a place you initially didn’t consider turns out to be the perfect location for your upcoming film. Even a blank canvas venue can have a lot of potential! Perhaps with the help of some colorful props, great furniture and extra decor, you’ll get a beautiful interior ideal for your project and suitable for your requirements. Don’t worry about sorting out extra things - some venues have additional furniture available on-site, so ask away when you have the chance.
  • Go off the beaten track. Don’t focus on the popular locations only! In fact, forget about them when working with a limited budget. Filming spaces in the city centre are usually quite expensive, so search a bit further from there! Have a look around the up-and-coming neighborhoods (where the rental fees don’t give you a heart attack yet) or check out the city’s outskirts. The second offer can be especially useful if you’re looking for larger filming locations as it’s less likely that you’ll find, for example, a great warehouse in a cramped city centre.
  • Shooting period. When starting off with your budget, first things first, you should start with mapping out the schedule. The ideal scenario is that you’ll know the number of days and what you’ll be shooting on each of those days. It can vary for different productions, especially those of various sizes and scales, but no matter the scope of your project, you should still plan to spend at least one day shooting at least 3 to 5 script pages.
  • Actors and crew. No film can happen without people! Before you start the shooting process, you’ll need to decide how simple or complex of a project you’ll be working on. After that’s determined, you can start thinking of the number of people you’ll need on and off screen and what role every single one of them will be playing. Once you have a rough estimate of who you’ll want, you’ll need to figure out rates for each person. Keep one extra thing in mind: some of them may have hard costs.
  • Script breakdown. This is closely related to your shoot schedule. When breaking down your script, you will be determining how many pages will be shot during one day and estimating how much time you’ll need to shoot the whole movie. Knowing how many days you’ll need for your shoot will ultimately determine how much money you’ll be spending each day. And let’s be honest, the less time, the better for your budget.
  • Plan your edit. Many filmmakers neglect this but we’re here to remind you that post-production and editing is as important as any other aspect of shooting a movie. Even if you’re editing your project yourself, you’ll still need to have a good understanding of the amount of time you’ll need to compensate for. Everyone’s editing process looks different, but we can give you a good tip for the start: plan to budget 3 to 5 hours of rough edits (let’s say that’s for 5 pages of the script) and then another 3 to 5 hours for revisions, coloring and adding minor effects. 

Hopefully, these tips and information will help you find a great filming location in the San Francisco area, without breaking the bank. If you don’t have a limited budget and can splurge on the production of your upcoming project, we couldn’t be happier for you! In such a case, the sky's the limit!

FAQs about Filming Locations in San Francisco, CA

What should I look for in a good filming location?

Match the location with the creative direction of your project. Think carefully about what you are looking for: is it a quirky bar, a fully-equipped studio or an outdoor space? Once you’ve made up your mind, plan for the amount of people that will be involved in your project and the equipment you’ll need. In case you’re thinking of shooting in an organic setting, such as a bar or a parking lot, you need to plan in advance where the cameras, microphones and any other gear are set up so that they’re not visible in any of the shots.

What could be a good filming location?

You can shoot your movie anywhere you wish to, but we’ve prepared a short breakdown of the most popular filming locations in San Francisco. For example, you can rent out a professional studio. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a blank canvas space or somewhere boasting a green screen, there are many photo and video studios in the area. If you’re thinking of having a big production, go for a warehouse. Bars and restaurants are good examples of organic settings that will bring realness to your movie. Outdoor locations are a great opportunity to feature the beautiful San Francisco landscapes in your project.

What are good filming locations in San Francisco?

San Francisco, an iconic city in northern California, has been a featured backdrop for a number of movies over the years. But what are the best filming locations around the city? We’ve searched high and low to find an answer to that question and here’s what we’ve found! We encourage you to have a look around colorful Chinatown - the perfect place to shoot outdoor scenes. Potrero Hill, one of the sunniest neighborhoods in San Francisco, could be seen as the setting for the infamous car chase in the film “Bullitt”. In this area you will find plenty of outdoor spots ideal for all kinds of shoots, as well as professional studios. Lively Mission District is home to many creative studios and inspiring production facilities. Lombard Street, a twisty avenue used very often in films to portray the city’s hilly layout, is another great filming location. Usually car chases are set there but it’s also possible to shoot the street from above and have fantastic views of the city in your film.

How much does it cost to rent a filming location in San Francisco?

The cost of your rented venue will strongly depend on the type of location you’re looking for. You can find a place and pay for short term rent with prices ranging from $60 to $350 per hour. For longer periods of time and bigger spaces, expect to pay a rental fee between $7,700 and $25,000. (Based on data from Tagvenue.)

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