Los Angeles Welcomes Rise in On-Location Feature Film Activity

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On-location filming across all categories increased 15.4 percent in the third quarter, according to a report FilmL.A. released earlier this month. Compared to the same period a year ago, last quarter saw a marked increase in on-location Feature film production and an anticipated decrease in TV Drama production.

On-location Feature production increased 49.9 percent for the quarter (2,079 permitted production days [PPD] in 2011 vs. 1,387 PPD in 2010). The California Film & Television Tax Credit did its part to spur local production, as eight Feature projects that qualified to receive state credits filmed on-location in Los Angeles during the period. These projects generated 260 PPD, or 12.5 percent of overall Feature production.

State-qualified Feature projects that shot locally included Argo, Breaking the Girl, Gangster Squad, My Mother’s Curse, Sports Camp, Think Like a Man, This is 40 and We Have Your Husband. Other projects driving a significant amount of Feature activity included director Christopher Nolan’s latest big-budget film Magnus Rex, director Oliver Stone’s film Savages, plus End of Watch and He Loves Me, among others.

Production in the Television category increased 5.8 percent last quarter (4,304 vs. 4,068 PPD), driven by increases in the TV Reality subcategory (up 30.4 percent) and to a lesser degree TV Sitcoms and TV Pilots. This summer, the Los Angeles area claimed more than 100 new reality television production starts. The TV Drama subcategory (down 20.3 percent) slid as a result of L.A.’s loss of ten one-hour drama series – as outlined last quarter in FilmL.A.’s 2011 Television Pilot Production Report. Six incentivized projects accounted for 10.4 percent of area TV Drama days.

Production of Commercials increased 16.5 percent for the period (1,726 vs. 1,481 PPD). This quarterly increase comes on the heels of a second-quarter loss, resulting in a 3.4 percent increase in category production year-to-date.

“Unfortunately, our summer prediction of diminished third quarter TV Drama production was spot-on,” said FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “While the California state incentive brought six television dramas to Los Angeles this quarter, we’ve seen other jurisdictions capture an unusually high number of these economically beneficial projects.”

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