On-location Filming in Greater Los Angeles Increases 11.4 Percent

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On-location filming is growing in Greater Los Angeles, having increased 11.4 percent (as measured in total Shoot Days, or SD) in the first quarter of 2016 over the same period the prior year.

Local on-location Feature production increased 23.7 percent (to 1,145 SD) in the first quarter, thanks to a significant assist from California’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program. Along with other Feature projects, four films retained by the state incentive were in production last quarter, generating 155 SD of filming. Those projects included The God Particle, Please Stand By, Sentence and Why Him.

“We predicted we’d see a boost in Feature production in the first quarter thanks to the state tax credit, and we’re glad to see that happening,” noted FilmL.A. President Paul Audley.  Following a healthy 12 percent increase during the fourth quarter of 2015, the increase in Feature production in the first quarter marks the first back-to-back category gain in nearly two years.

Overall Television production posted a 19.1 percent increase (to 3,944 SD) in the first quarter, aided by the local presence of state-incentivized shows. Local TV Drama production increased 3.1 percent (to 1091 SD) with 21.9 percent of the category (240 SD) coming from tax credit projects such as Animal Kingdom, Rosewood, Twin Peaks and Westworld, among others. The single digit growth in TV Drama production could mark a leveling off of the category, which grew by double digits over seven consecutive prior quarters.  State-incentivized projects accounted for 21-25 percent of all activity in the TV Drama category over the last four quarters.

Local TV Comedy production increased 83.2 percent (to 557 SD) with 14.5 percent (81 SD) coming from tax credit projects. These projects included Veep, which relocated to Los Angeles from Maryland in 2015, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

“The results are in: local production is at a record high, and the state tax credit is working,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Los Angeles is home to the best television and film talent in the world, and the industry is thriving right here at home. The TV shows and movies produced here are hitting screens big and small, creating good, middle-class jobs for hardworking Angelenos, and showcasing the creativity, vibrancy, and imagination of our city. That’s good news today, and for the future.”

Local TV Pilot production grew by 2.7 percent (to 264 SD) with 14.0 percent (37 SD) coming from tax credit projects. Bunker Hill, Nineteen, and Pitch were among the new state-incentivized projects that filmed in Greater L.A. FilmL.A. Research’s annual survey of U.S. Pilot production is slated for publication in June.

Commercial production increased 6.1 percent (to 1,523 SD), a welcome sign after the category’s flat performance in 2015. Commercial production is the second-largest driver of on-location production in Los Angeles, behind Television. For four straight years, commercials have produced more on-location Shoot Days per year than feature films.

“Though we’ve seen tremendous growth in the last quarter, Los Angeles County can never take for granted its history and position as the center of the entertainment industry,” said Supervisor Don Knabe. “Walk or drive anywhere in Los Angeles County these days and chances are you will find yourself on the set of a movie or TV show. From the downtown Los Angeles Arts District to Long Beach, film production is booming and the large and small businesses that benefit from the industry are feeling the benefits, providing hundreds of thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly.”

News release and graphs available for download (PDF).

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