A television show films in the Arts District near Downtown Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.
A television show films in the Arts District near Downtown Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.

On-location filming in the greater Los Angeles area inched upward by 1.3 percent last year compared to 2014 thanks to a spike in scripted television programs that local officials attributed in part to tax- credit incentives.

According to FilmL.A., the nonprofit organization that coordinates filming activity in the Los Angeles area, there were a total of 37,289 “shoot days” in the region in 2015, up from 36,807 in 2014. The increase was driven largely by a 19.3 percent increase in television drama shooting activity, and a 100.5 percent leap in TV sitcom filming.

Those categories sparked an overall 9.5 percent gain in “shoot days” in the television category, despite an 8 percent drop in TV reality show production.

“Television’s importance to Greater Los Angeles can’t be overstated,” FilmL.A. President Paul Audley said. “Scripted television provides long-term job opportunities and high economic value, so these increases should be celebrated.”

According to FilmL.A., projects that benefited from the California Film & Television Tax Credit generated 7.2 percent of local on-location television production in 2015.

Feature film production dipped by 4.2 percent to 4,344 shoot days in 2015, but FilmL.A. officials said production began an upward trend late in the year thanks to tax-credit-driven projects. The agency noted that five projects receiving tax credits began production between October and December — “CHiPs,” “The Conjuring 2,” “Rebirth,” “The Sentence” and “The Disaster Artist.”

“The California film tax credit is delivering positive results for the industry and in particular for the heart and soul of movies and television — the people who swing hammers, run cable and serve food on set to keep our local economy moving,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “We are fighting back against runaway production, and winning. And if a project doesn’t qualify for the credit, City Hall is doing everything it can to ensure that LA is the production capital of the world.

“Our film and television industry is the lifeblood of Los Angeles’ middle class, and now production is coming back to where it belongs,” he said.

–City News Service

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