Travel Blog

December 19, 2018


Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Located a mere 90 minutes south of San Francisco and 30 minutes from San Jose/Silicon Valley, the natural beauty – and quirkiness – of Santa Cruz County has inspired filmmakers over the years. In summer 1961, flocks of aggressive seabirds invaded Capitola, wreaking havoc among residents. Famed film director Alfred Hitchcock – who owned a house in nearby Scotts Valley at the time – used the incident for his movie The Birds. And filmmaker Jordan Peele was so inspired by 1987’s The Lost Boysthat he promised himself he would film a movie here one day. Us is due in theaters in spring 2019.

But until then, the Santa Cruz County Film Commission – a department within Visit Santa Cruz County – is proud to announce that this iconic beach town will make an appearance this winter on the big screen once again.

Key scenes were filmed at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Santa Cruz WharfHenry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and in Davenport.

Bumblebee – based on Hasbro’s uber-popular toy line and produced by Paramount Pictures – was filmed partly in Santa Cruz, Marin, and Vallejo. With a plot line set against a soundtrack brimming with 1980s New Wave hits, scenic shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and the north coast of California, Santa Cruz County serves as “Brighton Falls” – the fictitious setting where ‎Hailee Steinfeld who portrays teenager Charlie Watson, lives and works a part-time job as a food server at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s Hot Dog on a Stick concession stand. Trying to find her place in the world and dealing with the loss of her father, Charlie encounters Bumblebee, a Transformer disguised as a VW Beetle who was sent to Earth. John Cena and Pam Aldon round out the cast, with Justin Theroux and Angela Bassett lending their voice talent to the CG-rich Transformers characters.

Bumblebee is set to hit theaters on December 21, 2018, by Paramount Pictures.

For more information about the Santa Cruz County Film Commission, visit