There are many ways to track movie and television production, and some are more enlightening than others. One very flawed effort at tracking can be found in a United Nations (UNESCO) press release from 2009 that declared Nigeria had surpassed Hollywood as a film production center, based upon the number of films produced there. But on digging deeper, one finds that most Nigerian filmmakers shoot on video (i.e., VHS camcorders), and the country has virtually no cinemas. Ninety-nine percent of film screenings in Nigeria take place in home theaters. To make regional comparisons based on dissimilar data sets like this is really just plain silly.
When reporting on local production levels, FilmL.A. normally uses the unit of measurement called a Permitted Production Day (or PPD, as defined in article above). Our quarterly and annual PPD statistics are widely reported, such as by the Los Angeles Business Journal, which recently used our PPD data to list the top production companies and shows in 2010 in the region (MTV/New Remote Productions came out on top).
Sometimes, however, it’s interesting to mix things up. As we did last year, we decided to take a look at individual permits and permit applicants, investigating what companies pull the most permits. Last year, the top permit puller — totaling 60 documents in 2010 — was the Church of Scientology International DBA Golden Era Productions.
According to a representative, Golden Era Productions is part of the Church of Scientology International and produces audiovisual informational and religious instructional films as well as public service announcements centered on church-sponsored social betterment activities and humanitarian initiatives. Golden Era has operated since the early 1980s and has produced over 800 films and over 14,500 videos in the last six years alone.
So how does one keep track of the paperwork required for all that production work? Since early 2008, FilmL.A.’s been making it easier —
“The online permit system at FilmL.A. made it easy for me to file and obtain my permits,” said Frida Johannsson, location manager for Golden Era. “I knew if I had my permit filed on time that it would be handled like clockwork. I could see exactly what was happening and at which stage it was and when it was ready,” Johannsson added.
Image courtesy of Scientology Media