Record Filming Levels Reflect Dynamic Content Mix in L.A.

FilmLANews Releases, Research5 Comments

FilmL.A. Research issued a new report this week, revealing that on-location filming in Greater Los Angeles increased 3.0 percent last quarter to a record-setting 9,795 Shoot Days (SD)*.

From July through September, an increase in Television production (up 2.7 percent to 4,423 SD) offset modest declines in on-location Feature (down 5 percent to 1,089 SD) and Commercials (down 2.6 percent to 1,245 SD) production.

Local on-location Television production continues to be energized by the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program. Incentive-qualified TV projects filming in Los Angeles last quarter included American Horror Story, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I’m Dying Up Here, Pitch, Scream Queens, This is Us, and Westworld.  Approximately one fourth of all local TV Drama and TV Comedy production is incentive-driven.

“From 2015 to 2016, we had four straight quarters of triple—or near triple digit—growth in TV comedy,” said Adrian McDonald, Research Analyst for FilmL.A.  “Year to date, 2016 is actually leading 2015 in total Comedy shoot days, with 1,623SDs this year so far compared to 1,554SDs at the same time last year.”

But it was TV Reality and Web-Based TV that powered last quarter’s growth, with TV Reality posting its first increase (up 6.6 percent to 1,342 SD) in six consecutive quarters, and short-form Web-Based TV reaching a new quarterly high (up 72.2 percent to 651 SD).

“California’s film incentive is now helping to sustain local TV production after seven straight quarters of growth,” noted FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “We knew we’d see a leveling off as the program reached full utilization. With the program doing all it can to support filming in California, our focus is on the neighborhoods where filming happens and on managing the activity taking place.”

Overall area Feature film production declined (down 5 percent to 1,089 SD), after three straight quarters of growth. Along with other, non-incentivized Feature projects, four films retained by the state incentive filmed in Greater Los Angeles last quarter: CHiPS (for pickup shots), Sandy Wexler, Suburbicon and The God Particle.

Commercial production levels slipped for the second straight quarter, dropping 2.6 percent (to 1,245 SD). Year-to-date, the category is still slightly ahead of where it was at this time in 2015.

“The mixed results we see from last quarter in film production in Los Angeles County remind us of the need to be determined and aggressive in keeping filming here,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. “Be it film, television, commercials or web-based production, all have an impact on thousands of direct jobs and indirect jobs which support the industry. We must remain competitive, not just for the historical role Los Angeles County has played as the center of the entertainment industry, but for the economic impact production has across our region.”




*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.

5 Comments on “Record Filming Levels Reflect Dynamic Content Mix in L.A.”

  1. Hi Shane.
    Thanks for the reply. few brief follow ups.

    > PDFs are generally not always conducive to search queries

    Quite true, however if you offered a simple html index with title, minimal description and pub date, google would crawl that. It would be very, very helpful.

    > The “Research” services page…the major in-house FilmL.A. reports,

    The current page is pretty limited. The current page offers only 5 links. There no pointers to all the useful work that you guys have done in the past. A link to that simple index would be easy and very, very helpful.

    > The data is available on an as-needed / request basis

    What’s the process for requesting data? For example, how might I request the source data for the “Q3 2016 report”


  2. Hi Shane.

    Thanks a zillion for your reply. Hope you won’t mind a few more suggestions.

    Quick note about zooming in to see the data. Unfortunately some of your tables and charts a just pixel images that don’t scale. e.g. the charts on Of course when there’s an actual html table, scaling is no problem. In cases where you don’t want to code up a html tables to make old reports readable, it would be great if you would consider providing a link to the original doc.

    I have also notice quite a few broken links (No doubt a result of dropping the php for an actual file system.) For example: in there’s a broken link: is busted.

    Incidentally, it would be especially helpful if you fixed the links in that point to other reports. That would be a useful index

    > category page
    I couldn’t quite tell the purpose of the category page. It seemed like a hodgepodge of PR and research and this and that. Perhaps it’s useful to others. How do you see it?

    Couple other suggestions:
    The link in the sidebar suggests that’s where to look. However the (i.e. the one you suggested) is really the page with the research info and hard to find. You might consider adjusting names and links for clarity

    Lastly… The new page is great for a quick look, but kinda hard to really find information. The new search page only produces a few link results. The results aren’t to helpful. (e.g. try to search for the 2010 to 2014 report). It would be great if you provided a link to simple index of all the data reports.

    Thanks again for your reply. And thanks for the data you guys produce… it’s great!

    1. Hi Kenny, our pleasure. I’ve gone through some of the broken links and repaired where necessary. This will be an ongoing process as we discover these bugs / errors. Regarding your questions on the legibility of some of the charts, the specific example you cited is some of our older data, using our old methodology. The data is available on an as-needed / request basis, as we shift to our improved methodologies, which are more encompassing and extensive, seen on the newer 2015-16 reports.

      The category page for research, will be the destination for all data-driven news releases. Including award coverage, news releases on our reports, and general industry trends.

      The “Research” services page will solely feature just the major in-house FilmL.A. reports, but may be a bit more comprehensive over time. Hopefully this clarifies the structure a bit.

      We apologize for the limitations in our search capabilities, as we weigh the options of maybe reverting to Google search, but bear in mind that PDFs are generally not always conducive to search queries, so the current search platform, should we keep it, will perform a bit better as we convert some PDF information to in-body HTML pages.

      Best wishes,

      Hopefully this information is helpful to you.

  3. The Website looks great. Please consider a couple of suggestions:

    * The data in the tables and graphs rendered in html are no longer legible. Instead of linking to a html version for the full text, please consider linking to a pdf or other method with scalable text.

    * The new layout makes it very difficult locate research data from previous reports. Please consider providing a list of all available reports. Previously, the site included a convenient list in a sidebar. Something along those lines would be great. A simple table with publication dates and links to a pdf would be even better.

    Many thanks for considering these suggestions.

    1. Thanks for the detailed feedback, Kenny.

      To address a couple of your points, I may be able to assist you with some possible workarounds, as we strive to improve our website.
      – Actually, one of our motivations for rendering text into HTML, is the ability to scale text easier on both mobile and desktop browsers. Have you tried zooming in via the web browser commands? While not ideal, it should allow text to be enlarged.

      – All of our data reports can now be found here:
      Each report thumbnail links to the PDF report. Future articles, will also have links directly to the PDF reports.
      Also, there is now a category page outlining all data, which is maybe what you had in mind from the previous website:

      Thanks again,
      Shane H., New Media Specialist

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