Earlier this month, FilmL.A. announced that total on-location filming coordinated by FilmL.A. in the Los Angeles region declined 19.4 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, marking a low point for local feature film production and the steepest year-over-year decline we have ever observed. In all, 37,979 permitted production days (PPD) were coordinated in 2009 compared to 47,117 organized in 2008.
Some hopeful signs emerged, however, courtesy of local feature film and commercial producers.
On-location Feature production posted a year-over-year loss of 29.9 percent (4,976 PPD in 2009 vs. 7,096 in 2008), but the decline would have been larger, were it not for the California Film and Television Tax Credit. Entirely thanks to incentive-driven production, the Features category posted a fourth quarter PPD gain of 13.6 percent in 2009 over 2008!
Commercials finished the year down 12.0 percent over 2008 (5,292 vs. 6,016 PPD), but the third and fourth quarters of 2009 saw Commercials PPD increases of 10.2 and 20.5 percent, respectively. The commercial production rebound may signal a recovering economy and willingness of more companies to increase spending on advertising.
So has area production hit bottom? With the benefits of the California Film and Television Tax Credit already evident, we at FilmL.A. are cautiously optimistic of a production rebound in 2010.
“Last year’s poor showing reinforces the need for the positive steps being taken by the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to attract more filming to the City,” said FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “With an industry as mobile as ours, enhanced efforts to improve the environment for filming will pay immediate dividends and help L.A. regain lost market share.”