Second Quarter Gains from First Quarter Pains

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On-location filming reached record highs this past April through June, as a unique combination of seasonal and economic circumstances fueled a 26 percent year-over-year rise in production.
 
During the past three months, FilmL.A. coordinated a total of 17,375 permitted days of on-location production, making the second quarter of 2008 the busiest single quarter ever observed.  FilmL.A.’s recent announcement of the numbers highlighted a production shift brought about by the 100-day writers strike and uncertainty surrounding contract negotiations for Hollywood actors.
 
Television production proved uncharacteristically strong in the second quarter.  Permitted days of on-location production increased 85 percent year-over-year for television dramas (to a total of 2,193 days), 72 percent for reality series (to 4,267 days), 24 percent for pilots (to 380 days), and seven percent for sitcoms (to 544 days).  Despite the quarterly surge, dramas, sitcoms and pilots were all tracking behind their 2007 levels year-to-date.
 
Meanwhile, permitted days of on-location feature film production increased nine percent year-over-year for a total of 2,746 days for the quarter.  Year-to-date feature production is up ten percent in 2008 compared to 2007, but well below the historical highs that features reached in their mid-90’s heyday.   
 
On-location commercial production picked up 32 production days in the second quarter to reach 1,665 in total — a two percent gain over 2007.  Though the category used the second quarter to trim its first quarter losses, total on-location commercial production days are still down three percent year-to-date.

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