MAMMOTH LOCATION SERVICES
Mammoth Lakes, the basecamp for filming activities, is a full-service, year-round resort community situated at the base of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Film crews will find supportive communities throughout the Eastern Sierra best characterized by their easygoing lifestyle. California’s Eastern Sierra region offers some of the most unique and impressive landscapes in the world. If you’re looking for roads winding through dramatic mountain backdrops, sparkling alpine lakes and waterfalls, authentic ghost towns, bubbling hot springs and moon-like rock formations then look no further – it’s all right here in the Eastern Sierra.
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
Mammoth Mountain has one of the longest seasons (November–June), most dependable snow packs (typically over 10 feet) and highest ski elevations (11,053 feet). The ski area welcomes film companies, and offer a variety of specialized equipment and personnel to assist with difficult snow shoots. The surrounding mountain vistas are spectacular and have doubled for the Rockies, the Alps and even the Himalayas. Other winter pastimes include dogsledding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and sleigh rides. When the snow melts, ski trails become bike trails and thousands of mountain bikers congregate at the Mammoth Bike Park to ride over 80 miles of single track trails in the summer.
June Mountain Ski Area
June Mountain, located just 20 minutes north of Mammoth Lakes off Highway 395, sits atop a quaint fishing village and is blessed with breathtaking views of June, Gull and Mono lakes, as well as Mount Wood, Carson and Reverse peaks. It is often referred to as the “Swiss Alps of the Sierra.”
Mammoth Lakes Basin
The Lakes Basin is a chain of five mountain lakes nestled in a secluded alpine basin and surrounded by towering Sierra peaks.
The area gives the feeling of a remote mountain setting, yet is only 2 miles from Mammoth Lakes’ town center and easily accessible by vehicle. The area includes summer resorts and cabins built in the 1920's, campgrounds, horse stables, and miles of hiking trails.
A plethora of dirt roads and paved highways criss-cross the Eastern Sierra mountains and valleys. Highway 395 runs north/south parallel to both the Sierra and White Mountain ranges with several named and Forest Service roads ascending the canyons and passes.
Miles of rugged dirt roads, perfect for 4-wheel drive action, wind their way through wide open expanses and climb to panoramic mountain vistas. Lookout Mountain and Minaret Summit are particularly popular because of their accessibility and sweeping 360 degree views.
Mark Twain visited Mono Lake in the 1860s and made an interesting observation: "Mono Lake lies in a lifeless, treeless, hideous desert, 8,000 feet above the level of the sea and is guarded by mountains 2,000 feet higher." Little has changed since Twain's visit, but what he forgot to mention was that Mono Lake is one of the most unique natural landscapes in the world.
A glassy, mirror like surface of the vast salt water lake, statue-like rock formations known as tufa towers and the mystical light at sunrise and sunset create a surrealistic atmosphere that cannot be found anywhere else. The Mono Lake Basin is a National Scenic Area, and though filming is allowed, restrictions do apply.
Bodie Ghost Town
Bodie, CA boasted the wickedest men, the wildest streets and some of the harshest conditions of any western mining town.
In 1878, as many as 10,000 people lived in Bodie. In its heyday, there were saloons, gambling houses, a jail, funeral parlor, church and schoolhouse, merchants, hotels and miner's shacks. Today, it's a California Historic Park with many ramshackle buildings still standing in a state of arrested decay - a testament to a bygone era.
The high desert climate, unique buff-colored rock formations and the tallest peak in the lower 48 – Mt. Whitney – towering in the background have graced countless old Western classics since the 1940s. Today, this rugged landscape has changed little and is still a popular location among photographers and motion picture producers.
South of Lone Pine is true desert country, where the dried up Owens Lakebed and the parched Panamint Mountains – gateway into Death Valley National Monument – lie.
A variety of services, facilities and equipment are offered at your disposal. Our location coordinator can assist you with all your local production needs.
The following outlines some local services:
Local Talent Casting (non-union)
Camera Assistants/Audio Engineers
Miscellaneous Heavy Equipment
Vans and Buses
Charter & Commuter Flights
Our location coordinator can assist you with all your permitting needs, whether it’s through the state, town, or parks.
U.S. Forest Service
Fee varies, $50–$800/day (depending on crew size). Fee payable by cashier's check only. Certificate of Insurance and Performance Bond required.
Bureau of Land Management
Fee varies, $100–$800/day. Certificate of Insurance required.
Department of Water & Power
Fee varies, $100–$800/day. Certificate of Insurance required.
Must be permitted through California Film Office located in Los Angeles.
Fee $50/day. Certificate of Insurance and California Highway Patrol or Mammoth Lakes Police Department required.
Town of Mammoth Lakes
Fee $100/day. Certificate of Insurance required. Mammoth Lakes Police Department, if using roads.
No fee, but donations are appreciated. Certificate of Insurance required.
No fee, but donations are appreciated. Certificate of Insurance and Performance Bond required.
Region and Climate
The Eastern Sierra and surrounding landscapes are as dramatic as they are diverse. The jagged Sierra rises abruptly out of the Owens Valley floor towering to heights of over 14,000 feet. The valleys along the eastern flank are a unique combination of landscapes, while farther east are the arid White Mountains, dominated by the 14,246 foot White Mountain Peak. Radical elevation changes along the east side of the Sierra account for an unusual variety of climatic zones, all in a relatively short radius.
The higher elevations are characterized by perpetual snowfields and tundra-like vegetation (doubling for the Himalayas on many occasions). Moving lower in elevation, sparkling alpine lakes and streams, tall timber and lush meadows of wildflowers fill your shots. Descending even lower out into the valleys are rolling sage covered hills, pastureland, rustic ranch settings, and crystal clear rivers and streams. Deep, glacial-carved canyons slice into the mountains, and highways ascend mountain passes providing magnificent photo opportunities of the surrounding beauty. By contrast, endless roads with sweeping curves offer immense views of the high, open desert and snowcapped peaks.
The region’s climate is as diverse as the locations. Mammoth receives an average of 400” of snow in a typical year, and an average of 300 days of sunshine annually. Mammoth's ski season typically begins in early November and often extends well into June. Bishop rarely receives snow, so you can literally shoot both winter and summer scenes within the same day.
For more information on the Eastern Sierra region, visit Mono County Tourism.
Testimonials & Feature Films
Mammoth has been host to some of the biggest names in the industry, from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to Victoria's Secret and Budweiser.
"Thank you for all your support over the years! I just saw the Acura commercial again and it reminded me of your heroic efforts during one of the worst (best) winter storms in decades. Moving tons of snow and equipment through the night, only to move it all again in the morning when weather forced us into Plan B (the Plan B you had installed in anticipation of this storm) not only saved the day, our shoot and my hide, but highlighted why, whenever a shoot calls for accessible, world class, alpine or mountain terrain; you are and will always be the first call. Thank you again...I look forward to seeing you soon!"
John Rizzi - Location Scout/Manager
"The second unit photography with the F-14 jet looks terrific, thanks in no small part to the efforts of your Film Location Services ... We look forward to future opportunities to work together in the most beautiful outdoor studio in the world."
Michael Glick- U.P.M., Columbia Pictures - "Revenge"
"Unbelievable! Procuring that much equipment on such short notice on such a complicated stunt. What can I say but thanks! Again, many thanks for pulling it all together for us."
Brian Donnelly - Executive Producer
"... I wish all locations went this smoothly… they sure do it right at Mammoth... I wish we could make a whole movie here..."
Frank Marshall - Executive Producer, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"
"In the past years that we have worked with your group, you have helped us in obtaining so many hard to get items that without your help, the job would have been in jeopardy... you and your group have always gone the extra mile in helping us."
Ron Smotherman - Producer, Jeff Zwart Photography
SUNNY TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”
FOURTH OF JULY PRODUCTIONS, INC.
"Born on the Fourth of July"
"First Monday in October"
EDDIE MURPHY PRODUCTIONS & PARAMOUNT PICTURES
"The Golden Child"
NEW LINE CINEMA
"Troop Beverly Hills"
20TH CENTURY FOX
"For The Boys"
LUCAS FILM LTD.
"Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom"
PLUPERFECT PRODUCTIONS, INC.
STEPHEN CANNELL PRODUCTIONS
“Gene Simmons Family Jewels”
“California Trade and Tourism”
TOOL OF NA
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
YAMAHA MOTOR CORPORATION
LIMITED BRANDS, INC.
Santa Ana, CA
"Mazda," '1BMW," "Ford"
Producer - Ron Smothermon
Director / Photographer - Jeff Zwart
SEAN THONSON PHOTOGRAPHY
Los Angeles, CA
Photographer - Sean Thonson
ROB GAGE PHOTOGRAPHY
Laguna Beach, CA
"Chrysler," "Toyota," "Mazda," "Ford"
Photographer - Rob Gage
VIC HUBER PHOTOGRAPHY
Santa Ana, CA
"Michelin Tires," "Nissan," "Lexus"
Photographer - Vic Huber
The region is served by U.S. Hwy 395, and is approximately 300 miles north of Los Angeles and 160 miles south of Reno, Nevada. There are frequent flights into the area from regional airports.
Steve Morrison, Film and Entertainment Manager
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area LLC
P.O. Box 24 l 10001 Minaret Rd
Mammoth Lakes, CA. 93546
Phone: 760.934.2571 x3628