Film industry in Florida

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The film industry in Florida is one of the largest in the United States: in 2006, Florida ranked third in the U.S. for film production (after California and New York) based on revenue generated.[1] However, more recent 2009-2010 data no longer show Florida among the top four states.[2]

Production activity has been generally concentrated in two regions, South Florida and Central Florida (Orlando and Tampa). The South Florida region is famous for large projects like Jerry Bruckheimer's Bad Boys film series and Neal Moritz's 2 Fast 2 Furious. The Central Florida area has been featured in The Punisher, starring John Travolta, and Adam Sandler's The Waterboy.

The state of Florida has a long film history thanks to its year-round sunshine and moderate climate. Film classics were filmed throughout the state, such as Moon Over Miami (1941) and Esther Williams' Easy to Love (1953).


In the early 1990s Orlando experienced a great boom in film production. The construction of the Disney-MGM Studios and Universal Studios production facilities attracted many filmmakers to the area. Films like Ron Howard's Parenthood and syndicated television shows like The Adventures of Superboy led the pack. Soon, the Steven Spielberg series seaQuest DSV and Tom Hank's From the Earth to the Moon called Florida home. Nickelodeon Studios operated within Universal Studios Florida. During this period Orlando acquired the nickname "Hollywood East" because of its surging film industry.

Just as film production appeared to be on the decline in Florida, the phenomenal success of 1998's The Blair Witch Project led to another boom. While this film was filmed in Maryland, its director and entire crew were University of Central Florida film school graduates. This cult independent film has led to a new wave of film production for the area.

Celebrity residents[edit]

Florida is also the home of many famous actors. Celebrity residents of Florida have included Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Andy Garcia, Tom Cruise, Ron Palillo, Joe Jonas, Sophie Turner, Kaye Stevens, Michael Winslow, Larry Haines, Margaret Hayes, Roberta Haynes, Meinhardt Raabe, Jackie Gerlich, Hedy Lamarr, Susana Giménez, David Caruso, Christian Slater, Kenan Thompson, Vanilla Ice, Christian Daniel, Iggy Pop, Donna Summer, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Kerry, Jerry Springer, Antonio Sabàto Jr., Gloria Estefan, Jackie Gleason, Richard Boone, Perry Como, David Winters, Herb Shriner, Jean Shepherd, Bob McFadden, Scott "Carrot Top" Thompson, Billy Connolly, Cody Burger, Mickey Kuhn, Bobby Breen, Peter Palmer, Ricou Browning, Philip Michael Thomas, Eugene Levy, Barrie Ingham, Mike Douglas, Leslie Nielsen, Eddie Egan, Kirby Grant, Arlene Dahl, Patricia Dane, Norma Miller, Lili Damita, Martha O'Driscoll, Dixie Dunbar, June Preisser, Phyllis Thaxter, Vic Damone, Vaughn Monroe, Tom Fadden, Kimbo Slice, Dick Smothers, Rhonda Shear, Luke Halpin, Jay North, Dan White, Dennis Hoey, Freddie Bartholomew, George Hamilton, Gary Burghoff, Jo Ann Pflug, Steve Sipek, Arthur Metrano, Dave Madden, David Cassidy, Davy Jones, Anthony Newley, Gayle Hunnicutt, Cindy Crawford, Gail Edwards, Enrique Iglesias, Phil Collins, Sofia Vergara, Hulk Hogan, Nick Hogan, Randy Savage, Dave Bautista, John Cena, and Dwayne Johnson. There are also quite a few successful film directors located in the state including Daniel Myrick, George Abbott, and Harry Revier.

Films shot in Florida[edit]

Feature films shot in North Florida (Pensacola, Navarre, Ocala, Jacksonville regions)[edit]

Feature films shot in Central Florida (Orlando/Tampa region)[edit]

Feature films shot in South Florida (Miami region)[edit]

Documentary films shot in Florida[edit]

TV shows shot in Florida[edit]

Florida-based narrative TV series[edit]

Florida-based documentary/reality shows and independent shorts[edit]

  • Carpocolypse (2005 sports reality show)
  • The Chad Effect (2001 independent short)
  • Dr. G: Inside the Caylee Anthony Case (2012 documentary TV special)
  • Dr G Medical Examiner (2004- docu-drama)
  • Gainesville (2015- reality show)
  • Garriage: A Documentary in 4 Chapters and an Epilogue (2004 documentary)
  • Hogan Knows Best (2005- reality show)
  • Making The Band (2000 reality show)
  • On Being Your Average Joe (2005 independent short)
  • The Paper Route (1999 independent short)
  • Skating's Next Star[5] (2006 competition reality show)
  • WWF: Raw Is War (1997 sports show)
  • How to Do Florida (2010 - present)

Film festivals hosted in Florida[edit]

Film commissions and offices[edit]

  • Film in Florida - official site of Governor's Office of Film and Entertainment[9]
  • Metro Orlando Film Office[10]
  • Miami-Dade Film Office[11]
  • Polk County Film Office[12]
  • Space Coast Film Commission[13]
  • Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission[14]

Florida-based studio facilities[edit]

Metro Orlando alone is home to more than 10 state-of-the-art sound stages, making it one of the largest working production facility centers outside of Los Angeles and New York. Complete studio and production services are available throughout Florida, including backlots that can double for just about any national or international locale, production office space and sound stages totaling more than 160,000 square feet (15,000 m2).

Some of these facilities include:

  • Chapman Leonard Soundstage and Equipment (Orlando)
  • Detour Studios (Haines City)
  • Full Sail University (Winter Park)
  • Horizon Pictures Studio (Orlando)
  • Broadcast Beat Studios (Fort Lauderdale)
  • Dolphin Image Studios (Winter Haven)[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2006 Florida Film Commission Data
  2. ^ "Film Works L.A.; Note that California, #1 is not included in the chart". Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
  3. ^ "Clay County filmmakers hope to release movie nationwide". Clay Today. July 31, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-10-25. Retrieved Oct 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "Short film 'Charlie' to begin filming in April". Orlando Weekly. March 27, 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-10-25. Retrieved Oct 25, 2014.
  5. ^ "Skating's Next Star". Archived from the original on 2008-08-21. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
  6. ^ Gasparilla International Film Festival (GIFF)
  7. ^ L-DUB Film Festival
  8. ^ Lake Worth Playhouse
  9. ^ Film in Florida - official site of Governor's Office of Film and Entertainment
  10. ^ Metro Orlando Film Office
  11. ^ Miami-Dade Film Office
  12. ^ "Polk County Film Office". Archived from the original on 2006-08-26. Retrieved 2006-08-24.
  13. ^ "Space Coast Film Commission". Archived from the original on 2006-07-05. Retrieved 2006-08-24.
  14. ^ Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission
  15. ^ "Dolphin Image Studios – Central Florida Soundstage for Video Production – Music Videos". Retrieved 2020-10-19.

External links[edit]