Shooting Stock Videos in Southern California

Photo of Arie shooting

In order to capture the true elements of Southern California, you need to look at the region from an outsider’s perspective. What are the characteristics that define California to them? What are the local hot spots even an outsider would know about?

For Part 1 of this series, let’s look at a recent shoot we did in Venice Beach, Santa Monica, and Malibu to capture some of those elements. Situated along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, these locations can be used for productions of all sizes. From the sandy dunes of Malibu made famous by Baywatch, to the iconic hipster hang-out spots in Santa Monica/Venice from the Showtime series Californication, each of these locations has a little bit of everything and can be easily visited in one day. In all, these coastline locations are a great way to showcase the Southern California lifestyle. The consistency of weather alongside the distinctive landscape gives directors an open platform for creative direction.


Situated between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Malibu is a 21-mile beach city on a thin strip of the California coastline and only a 30 minute drive from our office. Since we are more familiar with this area than the other locations, we decided it was the perfect place to start our journey.

Unlike the more developed beaches we will visit later, the mountains and dunes of Malibu have a natural beauty reminiscent of the Northern Coastline juxtaposed against stretches of multi-million dollar celebrity beach homes. While Fridays at Malibu beaches are normally extremely crowded during the summer, the winter season provides pristine conditions for filming vacant coastlines and wildlife.

Leo Carillo

Leo Carillo is a state park used predominantly for camping with 1.5 miles of beach and access to hiking trails. It buries itself among rocky cliffs, forming several private beaches and stunning land formations. At this location, we were able to capture multiple coastline shots like the one you see you below and get up close and personal with a seagull, who seemed more than fine with us filming less than 2 feet away. As of the writing of this article, both of these videos are currently in use on our Homepage and on our About Us page.

Leo Carillo Beach coastline stock photo

Seagull at Leo Carillo beach in Southern California

Zuma Beach

We finished the day of shooting at Zuma Beach, one of the largest and most popular beaches in Los Angeles County. It was here we captured the California essentials including swaying palm trees, lifeguard towers and crashing waves. We were also able to get a lot of shots from the Pacific Coast Highway which follows the entire 1.8 mile stretch of Zuma.


On our next day of shooting, we wanted to capture a more urban area, starting with Santa Monica. This area is a tourist magnet, due to popular attractions such as the famous carnival-esque Santa Monica pier. The wider shots taken from the beach allowed us to highlight on the subtle movements on and around the pier contrasted against the rigid structure of the pier itself.

Santa Monica

The pier’s main attraction is a small amusement park. SC Tech utilized this landmark in a landscape shot that created a dichotomy between the tranquility of the surf and sand and the excitement of the pier attractions. This balance is nice when used for a website hero (like our Services Page) to prevent the page from feeling busy. At first glance, the stability from the tripod we used makes it resemble a photograph like the screenshot below. The movement of the roller coaster and other rides adds that extra touch of action without distracting from the content of the page.

Santa Monica Pier with Ferris Wheel and rollercoaster

Venice Beach

Our next stop was the infamous Venice Beach. It may not be the most affluent beach in California, but it brings its own charms to the So Cal beach vibe we are looking for. Venice is known for its boardwalk, where artists and vendors of all types operate along basketball courts and beach sand. This variety allows for you to really control the type of scene you want to capture. In one area, we captured shots of graffiti filled palm trees and skateboarders while in another area, we captured tourists talking to street vendors, looking for deals on souvenirs. Just by changing our frame of reference we were able capture two scenes which could be used to convey totally different ideas.


Custom video and photography is a great way to help your website stand out amongst the competition. We take pride in being a one-stop shop and utilize this service for all our clients. We will accommodate any business model with a multitude of creative solutions. Whether you’re looking to integrate video into your site or need an updated site in general, SC Tech offers all the tools and talent to employ. Contact our team of professionals now to get started on your next project.

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