I’ll elaborate a little on other responses.It generally comes down to money.Why does anyone shoot ANYWHERE outside of a local or major market?
Money.Yeah, you may want a certain setting, but in L.A., at least, and really just about anywhere, you can find SOMETHING that works.But L.A. took a lot of productions to NOLA and NC in the past 10 years, because of the state tax incentives.
It’s the same reason you go to Canada.Seattle can practically be seen from Vancouver, but more than that, they actually share a lot of similarities in look and feel.And there was a decent industry in Seattle for a while (someone’ll hate me if I say it doesn’t exist there anymore… it’s where I got my start, but truth be told, a lot of those people have moved to L.A. now, or are shooting in BC themselves, because…), as it had its own incentive programs, but the state killed the bill that was supporting film productions.
Even local filmmakers are at a disadvantage now.So Vancouver is an easy choice to double for Seattle and save money.
In addition to the points already made, we have a thriving movie infrastructure ready to go to work.We have sound stages, studios, casting directors, location scouts, catering, talent agencies, visual effects, all the skilled trades, etc etc.It’s the third largest centre for the movie biz in North America.
One of the best parts of filming here is the wide range of locations available within a two hour drive.Everything from high mountains to ocean to desert to city or farm or suburban mall.We really have it all.
Just a few weeks ago (in October 2013) I saw “Fairly Odd Vacation” filming on location at Locarno beach in Vancouver, where it is pretending to be Hawaii.By comparison, pretending to be Seattle is dead easy.Same climate, same ocean, same trees.
To show our breadth of locations, take a look at this list from MacGyver.The show was originally shot in LA for the first two seasons, then moved to Vancouver for seasons 3 to 6.(Then back to LA for season 7.)
On the left, the image from the show.On the right, the actual location in or around Vancouver.(Some from other Canadian places like Calgary too.)