As announced earlier this month, overall on-location filming has been springing forward in Los Angeles, with filming across all categories posting an 18 percent gain in the first quarter of 2010. A total of 11,087 permitted production days (PPD) were recorded for the period, compared to the 9,408 we saw in 2009.
Reasons behind the increase vary by production category. Commercials achieved a 61 percent increase (2,034 PPD in 2010 vs. 1,266 in 2009), aided by ad buys to air during the Olympics. Meanwhile, this year’s strong pilot season helped bump overall television production up 14 percent (4,881 PPD in 2010 vs. 4,279 in 2009).
The most revealing numbers of all, however, came from the features category. Feature production increased approximately one percent for the quarter (929 PPD in 2010 vs. 921 in 2009), but only thanks to the existence of the California State Film and Television Tax Credit.
In all, 11 state-incentivized feature film projects shot on-location in the region during the first quarter of 2010. The 184 PPD contributed by these projects made up 20 percent of the category’s quarterly yield.
“It’s hard to overstate how important the incentive is for local businesses,” said FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “Local on-location Feature production declined 11 out of the last 13 years, hitting its lowest observed levels in 2009,” he added. “Tak away the state incentive, and we’d be 19 percent behind and facing the weakest feature production quarter that L.A. has ever seen.”