Film Production Sedate So Far in ’08

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On-location production in Los Angeles slumped 23 percent in the first quarter, according to our latest year-to-year comparison. The recent strike by Hollywood writers — which lasted from last November through the middle of February — triggered an industry-wide shutdown in scripted television production that took hold at the beginning of the new year.

In all, FilmL.A. coordinated 2,921 fewer days of on-location television production in the first quarter of ’08 vs. ’07. Strike-affected TV dramas, TV sitcoms, and TV pilots were the categories hardest hit, with year-to-year quarterly losses of 68 percent, 72 percent, and 77 percent, respectively.

On-location feature production, meanwhile, gained 11 percent to 2,065 days for the quarter.

“The small quarterly gain in feature production might come as a surprise,” said Todd Lindgren, FilmL.A. Vice President. “But feature films tend to have longer development cycles than episodic television, and with scripts already written, they were better positioned to continue production despite the strike.”

Commercial producers filmed seven percent fewer days on-location, finishing at 1,925 for the quarter.

Altogether, a total of 7,547 permitted days were logged in the three main categories of feature films, commercials and television production for the period, compared to 10,414 days in the previous year — a difference of 28 percent. Filming in other categories — including student films, documentaries, music videos and others — fell 11 percent during this time, from a cumulative 4,262 days in 2007 to 3,810 days this year.

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