Transforming a Government Film Website for Broad Appeal

Nov 20, 2023

film sign held up in an outdoor filming location

Sometimes the right website can change everything!

The Placer County Film Office reached out to Dedicated Designs to create a website for their film permitting services. Placer County, which has a long-standing reputation for beautiful scenery and a wide variety of filming locations, needed a website that could make film permitting and location research more accessible and approachable for potential clients. 

Before the Placer County Film Office worked with Dedicated Designs, they were operating their film permitting services through a government website. Rather than integrating permitting functions to the website itself, their previous website led customers to less accessible pdfs and phone numbers. 

In their new website, the client wanted to make permitting processes easier and more approachable, while also showcasing the beautiful filming locations of Placer county. 

Balancing Aesthetics and Function 

The Placer County Film Office wanted a website that prominently displayed the opportunity of various filming locations throughout the county and reflected the welcoming nature of the county’s inhabitants. 

The new homepage of the “Film Placer Tahoe” website.

Dedicated Designs incorporated this overall feel to the site by choosing a color scheme, typeface, and copy that reflected their desired tone and existing brand identity. For the images specifically, it was important that the branded color scheme of the website also complemented the natural beauty of the video and static images included in each page. 

As a whole, the county wanted to be branded as an inviting location for new filmmakers and any other potential customers in the film industry. Following this, all writing included in the website is informative and approachable, with all information easy to understand and prominently displayed. 

Simplifying A Complex Location Directory

In an effort to make searching for film locations even easier, the team at Dedicated Designs put together a comprehensive Location Directory on the Film Placer Tahoe website. This directory is made of individual filming locations, each containing photos of the specific space as well as its address and contact information for permit requests. 

a screenshot of the film location page on the Placer County Film Office website

The filming location page contains individual features on each available location.

Site users can look through hundreds of filming locations, or leverage the search and filter functions to narrow down their location search by location category, region, or keyword. 

Ensuring Location and Image Accuracy

The team at Dedicated Designs featured extensive video and photography to show the beauty and opportunity of each filming location in Placer County. 

As you navigate through the site, you’ll notice that each page features location-accurate images for each region, including the Placer Foothills, Valley, Mountains, and North Lake Tahoe. 

a screenshot of the location category page on the Film Placer County website

The variety of filming categories displayed on the Film Placer Tahoe website.

The Dedicated Designs web design and development team worked extensively with the client team to ensure that all images shown on the website were accurate and appropriately showcased through video and static formats. This process included multiple meetings and hours of fact checking to make certain that all images reflected available filming locations in Placer County. The web design and development team understood that imagery and aesthetics was a large focus for the client. With this in mind, the team worked with the Placer County Film office to create a compelling visual story that was not only beautiful, but accurate for the visitor.

Integrating Permitting into the Website

One of the biggest challenges for the Placer County Film Office before working with Dedicated Designs was their permitting processes. To make these processes more user friendly, the team at Dedicated Designs integrated permitting directly into the website. 

A screenshot of the permitting page on the Film Placer County website

The permitting page contains consolidated permitting information for users.

On the permitting page, users will find a consolidated display of all the information they will need while undergoing the permitting process. On this page, they can access the permit application, permit informational documents, crew and vendor information, filming policy updates, and additional contact information for the permitting office. 

Organizing Data Frameworks for Success

From a data perspective, the Film Placer Tahoe website was a goliath accomplishment that involved the creation of a data host, the reorganization of sets of data, as well as the conversion from a Coppermine Photo Gallery to a custom WordPress website build. 

To start this process, the Dedicated Designs team first had to create the initial data host for the website as a whole. Once this groundwork was built, the data had to be organized on the backend to ensure front end functionality. The Dedicated Designs development team started this process by deciphering data links and connections from the existing data set. To do this, they created a comprehensive data map in order to find where all the data was currently “sitting,” then used this information to sort through which legacy data was necessary to keep for the future site.

Once the Dedicated Designs developers had the “carry over” data set organized, they started the process of importing the data into the new site, all the while creating and maintaining a structured data framework on the backend site itself. This framework ensured that all data imported and built in the WordPress itself would stay organized – and would maintain the overall functionality of the site itself. 

Optimizing the Website to Maintain Speed of Use

Throughout this project, it became clear that video would be integral in communicating the beauty of Placer County. However, creating a site that would maintain extensive video use while also running at an appropriate speed can often present a challenge for developers. 

To bypass this obstacle, the team at Dedicated Designs ensured that all aspects of the website were built with the best web practices available. This optimization ensured the website loaded and ran with the highest quality speeds and lowest loading times possible. 

From image size to integral coding optimization, the developers at Dedicated Designs ensured that the structure of all backend features was as seamless as possible, leaving site bandwidth available to host video features without sacrificing front end user experience and site speeds.  

Customer Service from Dedicated Designs

Throughout this process, the team at Dedicated Designs maintained regular communication with the client to ensure that all expectations, goals, and milestones were known and shared between all groups. This hand-in-hand approach allowed Dedicated Designs to maintain a finger on the pulse of the clients’ needs and preferences – and create a site that fit their needs and timeline. 

Work with Dedicated Designs

Dedicated Designs delivered a website to the Placer County Film Office that displayed all of the beautiful filming location opportunities throughout the county and made it easy for potential filmmakers to navigate the previously arduous film permitting process. If you are interested in a full website redesign for your current web presence, reach out to Dedicated Designs today.

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