Feature Production Rebounds in L.A. as Local Filming Sets New Records

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On-location filming in Greater Los Angeles increased 5.1 percent between October and December of last year, according to a report released today by FilmL.A. The increase helped make 2016 the busiest year in recent memory, as annual filming increased 6.2 percent over 2015, to 39,605 Shoot Days (SD)*. FilmL.A. is a not-for profit organization that serves as the official film office of the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles and 20 other area jurisdictions.

Today’s favorable report owes much to a welcome late-year surge in Feature film production, which increased 22.5 percent (to 1,322 SD) in the fourth quarter of 2016. By the end of the year, the Feature category had grown 12.0 percent (to 4,865 SD), making 2016 the strongest year for Feature production in L.A. since California introduced its first film incentive program in 2009.

Feature film projects qualified for California’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program generated 15.0 percent of recent production in this category. Some of the projects filming recently on-location include A Wrinkle in Time, Bright, Magic Camp, Miles, and Suburbicon.

“It is gratifying to see feature film work and related jobs returning to Los Angeles,” said FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “Although L.A. now has permanent competitors in this space, the incentive is working as intended in bringing exciting new projects to the area.”

On-location Television production also set records in 2016, despite a weak fourth quarter. Overall Television production slipped 1.3 percent (to 4,005 SD) in Q4, but the category still finished the year 4.8 percent ahead of 2015 (with 14,463 SD). That was enough to smash annual records in the TV Drama, TV Comedy and Web-Based TV subcategories.

Nowhere is the impact of the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program clearer than in local Television production. Based on recent counts, 11 percent of Shoot Days for TV Comedy, and 39 percent of Shoot Days for TV Drama, are generated by projects enrolled in the state incentive program.

Among television subcategories, TV Reality production dropped 15.1 percent (to 988 SD) and TV Pilot dropped 58.7 percent (to 45 SD) in the fourth quarter. TV Dramas held steady (up 0.1 percent to 1,126 SD), TV Comedy jumped (up 18.9 percent to 849 SD) and Web-Based TV level surged (up 28.5 percent to 555 SD) over the same period.

Local Commercial production slipped over the latter part of the year. Commercial production dropped 13.0 percent (to 1,079 SD) in the fourth quarter. Year-over-year activity in the category was down 2.1 percent (to 5,090 SD) compared to 2015.

[pullquote cite=”Mayor Eric Garcetti” type=”left”]”This report confirms what below-the-line-workers across Los Angeles are already experiencing — film and television production is booming. Each new production means more good-paying jobs and a healthier economy for everyone. L.A. is the creative capital of the world, and we’re going to keep it that way.”[/pullquote]

* 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.

Full press release, with graphs, can be downloaded here.

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