FilmLA Issues Update to Ongoing Sound Stage Study

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FilmLA, partner film office for the City and County of Los Angeles and other local jurisdictions – today updated its ongoing study of filming taking place on L.A. area certified sound stages.

FilmLA’s latest Sound Stage Production Report aggregates data supplied by an expanded list of studio partners to quantify occupancy, film use, and non-film use of 246 certified sound stages and adjoining backlots in Greater Los Angeles in 2018. The 17-page report also looks at recent sound stage development and construction across five major global production centers, including Los Angeles, the United Kingdom, British Columbia, Ontario, Georgia and New York.

Although the new report pre-dates by many months the emergence of COVID-19 and the industry’s production shutdown, it nonetheless offers a compelling snapshot of production intensity prior to the global pandemic.

As of today, thirteen studio operators are enrolled in FilmLA’s data sharing partnership. These operators control 17 different multi-stage facilities in Greater Los Angeles, which together comprise 68 percent of the total certified sound stage inventory available in the region. In all, these thirteen partners offer to local filmmakers more than 3.5 million square feet of certified, production-ready space.

The widespread availability of purpose-built production space has been a longstanding competitive advantage for L.A.’s signature industry. In terms of total square footage, Los Angeles-based studio infrastructure continues to outmatch that offered by any other jurisdiction, though other major production centers are investing heavily and gaining ground.

In terms of occupancy, FilmLA’s studio partners reported an average occupancy rate of 95 percent in 2018. This high rate of occupancy led to similarly high rates of utilization – a total of 14,491 stage shoot days and 1,986 backlot shoot days were recorded for the year – with most dedicated to the production of one-hour series (7,459 shoot days), half-hour series (4,327 shoot days), TV talk shows (1,128 shoot days) and commercials (1,039 shoot days).

“Partner stage operators continue to confide in us about the challenges they face in their business. High occupancy levels have for several years offered proof that efforts to attract productions to California are working. Streaming content also fueled stage space demand. What remains to be seen, as the film industry seeks to responsibly resume production, is how occupancy and utilization will change in the wake of COVID-19.”

Paul Audley, President of FilmLA

The next installment of FilmLA’s Sound Stage Production Report – covering January through December of 2019, is expected to be released by the end of the year.

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» About FilmLA

FILML.A., INC® is a not-for-profit organization and the official film office of the City and County of Los Angeles, among an ever-increasing roster of local municipalities. Through expedited permit processing, comprehensive community relations, film policy analysis and other services, FilmLA works to streamline and enhance the on-location filmmaking process for communities and content creators, to ensure the Greater Los Angeles economy continues to thrive.

Integral to FilmLA’s work is ongoing research into the benefits that local filming brings to the Los Angeles region. To that end, we maintain an internal research division devoted to the production, collection and dissemination of information regarding the U.S. film production economy and global production trends.

Provided you cite FilmLA as your source, you are welcome to use all information, charts, graphs, etc. that appear in our reports.

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