The number of days production crews filmed in the greater Los Angeles area dropped in the second quarter of the year by about 4 percent, compared to the same quarter a year ago, according a report published Thursday by the nonprofit FilmLA.
“Although our latest report reveals a decline in filming on location, local production facilities tell us that they are operating at capacity,” said FilmLA president Paul Audley. “We’ll be looking at soundstage production again this fall to put some of these numbers in context and examine demand and opportunities for new local infrastructure investment.”
Scripted television was the largest working part of the Los Angeles industry. On-location filming within that “jobs-rich” sector increased year-over-year in the second quarter, while feature, commercial and reality TV production decreased. Across all tracked filming categories, on-location filming in greater Los Angeles slipped 3.9 percent, FilmLA reported.
In all, 8,632 shoot days were recorded during the quarter, down from 8,978 days in the second quarter of 2018.
Scripted TV production in Los Angeles is increasingly driven by the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program, according to the report. In the second quarter, 51.7 percent of local TV drama shoot days came from incentivized series, which FilmLA called a new milestone. Meanwhile, 20.8 percent of L.A.’s on-location TV comedy production was incentivized by the tax credits.
Feature and commercial production declined year-over-year from April through June. Feature film production decreased 16.7 percent for the second quarter to 986 shoot days. A lack of vacant soundstage space was blamed as the main reason for the decrease, according to FilmLA, even though financial incentives exist for the projects.
Commercial production, which does not receive the tax break, dropped 19.8 percent in the second quarter to 1,280 shoot days. This sector has been trending downward, FilmLA reported, as producers are looking outside Los Angeles. Streaming services that offer ad-free productions have tightened this market, according to the report.
On-location production figures FilmLA used to compile the data are based on days of permitted production within the areas the nonprofit serves. One shoot day is defined as a crew having permission to film at one or more defined locations during all or part of any given 24-hour period.
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