FilmL.A. Research issued a new report this week, revealing that on-location filming in Greater Los Angeles increased 3.0 percent last quarter to a record-setting 9,795 Shoot Days (SD)*.
From July through September, an increase in Television production (up 2.7 percent to 4,423 SD) offset modest declines in on-location Feature (down 5 percent to 1,089 SD) and Commercials (down 2.6 percent to 1,245 SD) production.
Local on-location Television production continues to be energized by the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program. Incentive-qualified TV projects filming in Los Angeles last quarter included American Horror Story, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I’m Dying Up Here, Pitch, Scream Queens, This is Us, and Westworld. Approximately one fourth of all local TV Drama and TV Comedy production is incentive-driven.
“From 2015 to 2016, we had four straight quarters of triple—or near triple digit—growth in TV comedy,” said Adrian McDonald, Research Analyst for FilmL.A. “Year to date, 2016 is actually leading 2015 in total Comedy shoot days, with 1,623SDs this year so far compared to 1,554SDs at the same time last year.”
But it was TV Reality and Web-Based TV that powered last quarter’s growth, with TV Reality posting its first increase (up 6.6 percent to 1,342 SD) in six consecutive quarters, and short-form Web-Based TV reaching a new quarterly high (up 72.2 percent to 651 SD).
“California’s film incentive is now helping to sustain local TV production after seven straight quarters of growth,” noted FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “We knew we’d see a leveling off as the program reached full utilization. With the program doing all it can to support filming in California, our focus is on the neighborhoods where filming happens and on managing the activity taking place.”
Overall area Feature film production declined (down 5 percent to 1,089 SD), after three straight quarters of growth. Along with other, non-incentivized Feature projects, four films retained by the state incentive filmed in Greater Los Angeles last quarter: CHiPS (for pickup shots), Sandy Wexler, Suburbicon and The God Particle.
Commercial production levels slipped for the second straight quarter, dropping 2.6 percent (to 1,245 SD). Year-to-date, the category is still slightly ahead of where it was at this time in 2015.
“The mixed results we see from last quarter in film production in Los Angeles County remind us of the need to be determined and aggressive in keeping filming here,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. “Be it film, television, commercials or web-based production, all have an impact on thousands of direct jobs and indirect jobs which support the industry. We must remain competitive, not just for the historical role Los Angeles County has played as the center of the entertainment industry, but for the economic impact production has across our region.”
*On-location production figures are based on days of permitted production within the jurisdictions served by FilmL.A. One “Shoot Day” (or “SD”) is defined as one crew’s permission to film at one or more defined locations during all or part of any given 24‐hour period. This measure determines how many days of work film crews perform during a given time period. FilmL.A. data does not include production that occurs on certified sound stages or on-location in jurisdictions not served by FilmL.A.