The movie “Lady Bird” has earned high praise and five Academy Award nominations, including Best Director for Greta Gerwig and actress nods for both Laurie Metcalf and Soairse Ronan. But the other star of the film is its location: Sacramento, California.
Gerwig, who also wrote the screenplay, is a native of the state’s capital. In interviews, she has gushed about the city.
Sacramento officials and residents are more than happy to get the attention. Some think the state capital can woo more film work away from Los Angeles.
Deon Taylor is one of them. The self-taught writer and director has shot four movies in Sacramento.
He had an unlikely beginning as a filmmaker. Taylor was recruited to play basketball in Germany and while he was playing there from 1999 to 2002, he had an idea for a movie.
I don’t speak the language. I’m trying to do something to pass the time. So as a movie buff, I find myself going through six or seven movies in the course of two days. I became fascinated with the “making of.” This is 15, 16, 17 years ago. Every movie would have the “making of” on a DVD. That was the whole thing. And I pretty much became a film student in my own apartment in Germany.
Taylor worked on a script, and came back to the U.S. to generate interest in the project. It wasn’t easy. He was met with closed door after closed door.
He self-financed his first film with the help of friends and family and in 2007, released the horror movie Dead Tone. That led to more projects like 2014’s Supremacy, and Traffik, which hits theaters later in 2018.
Through it all, Taylor has maintained his base in Sacramento. For one, it’s far less expensive to secure a permit to film there. He also cites the city’s diversity, from its people to its landscape, as a major benefit.
When I go through Sacramento, not only is the capital beautiful, it has so many different looks. You can get on the 50 and you’ll be in Tahoe, which is trees and wilderness. I can go downtown and get the buildings and the corporate world. I can go to South Sacramento, to what’s called Oak Park, and get dilapidated buildings and project buildings. The city has so many different layers and looks, as a filmmaker you go, wow, this is pretty incredible.