Los Angeles Filming Levels Leap for Location-Based Scripted TV

FilmLANews Releases, Research

On-location film production in Greater Los Angeles increased 3.8 percent in the third quarter of 2015 to 9,510 Shoot Days (SD)*, according to numbers released today by FilmL.A. The bump was due primarily to a 54.5 percent quarterly increase in L.A. area scripted television production. The not-for-profit organization FilmL.A. serves as the official film office of the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles and 20 other area jurisdictions.

The third quarter of 2015 set a new Shoot Day record for on-location Television production in Los Angeles. The category’s 4,308 SD yield is the largest observed in any quarter since 2010. This is especially noteworthy, since TV Reality — still the region’s largest television production segment — slipped 20.2 percent (to 1,259 SD), from July through September. Offsetting this, TV Drama production rose 23.9 percent (to 1,187 SD), TV Sitcom production increased 168.0 percent (to 745 SD), and digital Web-Based TV increased 25.6 percent (to 378 SD). TV Pilot production also increased 31.6 percent (to 125 SD).

The impact of the California Film & Television Tax Credit was evident in the numbers reported by FilmL.A. The first round of television projects qualified under the state’s new film incentive entered production in the third quarter. Incentive-qualified projects comprised 20.8 percent (247 count) of on-location Shoot Days in the TV Drama category, 8.6 percent (64 count) for TV Sitcoms and 33.6 percent (42 count) for TV Pilots.

“We were predicting increases in the scripted television segment, and it appears those predictions are coming true,” said FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “Undeniable is the influence and importance of the California Film & Television Tax Credit, which in both its old and new iteration has returned a considerable amount of work to Los Angeles.”

Commercial production also contributed to the quarter’s overall increase. Local on- location commercial production grew by 11.0 percent (to 1,278 SD). Measured in on- location Shoot Days, commercials are the region’s second largest production driver, after television.

Local on-location Feature production decreased 11.0 percent (to 1,146 SD) in the third quarter of 2015, ahead of an expected fourth quarter increase thanks to late-start state- incentivized projects.

“Los Angeles County can never take for granted its history and position as the center of the entertainment industry,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. “The impact of the California Film & Television Tax Credit has already made a huge impact on our ability to compete with other markets and their aggressive pursuit of production business. We must continue to work together across the region to retain this critical industry which provides hundreds of thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly, and billions of dollars to our economy.”

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* On-location production figures are based on days of permitted production within the jurisdictions served by FilmL.A. One “Shoot Day” (or “SD”) is defined as one crew’s permission to film at one or more defined locations during all or part of any given 24‐ hour period. This measure determines how many days of work film crews perform during a given time period. FilmL.A. data does not include production that occurs on certified sound stages or on-location in jurisdictions not served by FilmL.A.

For context, production growth in any tracked category is measured against the same period in the prior year and that category’s five-year rolling average.