Video Production in the San Francisco Bay Area – thoughts on where we stand as 2023 takes shape

Posted on: January 27, 2023

Video Production in the San Francisco Bay Area – thoughts on where we stand as 2023 takes shape

Blog post from a longtime producer

As a Bay Area video pro, I’ve seen a lot of changes in over 20 years of working in the region. When I graduated from San Francisco State’s School of Film and Video Production in 99 there was a small but thriving independent cinema world in The City and the East Bay where people like Les Blanc and his son made well-known documentaries with folks like Werner Herzog. Most DP’s did not own their own cameras, and corporate video production was centered around big houses like Total Video in South San Francisco or were a division of large AV Vendors like McCune Audio/Video/Lighting. Some companies like Oracle had their own internal video teams and small production studios, but that was rare.

Fast forward to present day and the landscape has changed dramatically. Almost all indie cinema types have been priced out of the bay. Most DP’s own their own gear, there are dozens corporate and commercial production companies marketing all level of service from creative to production on websites, but who’s to say if there is even one with actual offices and employees. Big tech companies like Google, Facebook Cisco, and Salesforce all have large internal creative and production teams comprising the majority of video/film related employment in the region. Event video is still a place where jobs can be found, but much of that is live and as we’ve seen in the pandemic, live events can be at the mercy of whether or not we’re allowed to gather in person.

So where does this leave a video pro to hang their hat as 2022 comes to a close? Well, “Video Marketer” is a top 20 profession as the majority of online content consumed is now video. It’s easier than ever to own your own high quality digital cinema cameras and lights. Almost every company on earth has a marketing mandate to “make some video” to feed their website and social channels, so if you’re a jack-of-all trades who can do it all from motion graphics to creative and production you’re in good shape. But with all those skills, the temptation of a move to less expensive region can prove too tempting.

My hopes for a Bay Area Video future include home price corrections as overheated Bay Area real estate continues to soften. As the pandemic wanes, more live events come back which feeds more pre-tape production and live production crew jobs. And maybe the silver lining to tech layoffs is a more thriving environment for independent production companies who can pick up the work of a shuttered in-house video crew while leading more fulfilling professional lives in a production company environment where they can work on more diverse projects.


  1. Hello , my name is Rafael Puentes cinematographer with more than 25 years in the industry, Your comments it’s also happens in Miami, FL .

    Lots of new videographers around working with their own gear , every company shoot his own content that means few jobs for everybody !