TV Production Schedule Shift Gives L.A. Filming False Lift

FilmLANews Releases, Research

FilmL.A. — the official film office of the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles and other area jurisdictions — today updated its regional on-location filming report. The report showed an unseasonably strong television production yield for the second quarter of 2014, which FilmL.A. attributes to production schedule shifts.
“FilmL.A. is committed to broadening understanding of California film industry trends and practices,” observed FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “Today’s report illustrates the challenges we sometimes face in interpreting film industry data. It’s crucial that observers understand the losses the region has already suffered, so as to view reported short-term gains with the proper perspective.”
Regional on-location Television production increased 33.7 percent over the prior year, totaling 5,761 PPD. Coincidentally, the category also exceeded its 5-year quarterly average by 33.7 percent. FilmL.A. researchers attribute most of the apparent growth to seasonal production shifts, although the California Film & Television Tax Credit also provided a welcome boost to TV Dramas. Last quarter, TV was down 9.2 percent.
In sharp contrast to the previous quarter, nearly all TV subcategories posted Q2 increases, among them TV Drama (up 58.6 percent to 1,191 PPD), TV Reality (up 64.1 percent to 2,550 PPD), TV Sitcom (up 5.5 percent to 402 PPD) and Web-Based TV (up 3.4 percent to 379 PPD). TV Pilot production declined 26.6 percent to 282 PPD.
Television’s weakness in Q1 was driven in part by production delays. Meanwhile, it seems more local crews are working to support the early summer premiere of new and returning shows. This pair of developments helped concentrate production into Q2, with unknown implications for the rest of 2014. FilmL.A. Research is readying a supplemental analysis of local TV Drama production for release in early August.


Feature production declined 5.3 percent last quarter to 1,665 PPD, with exactly 10.8 percent of the category (180 PPD) attributed to projects awarded the California film incentive. State-qualified Feature projects included American Sniper, EntourageScouts vs. Zombies, and The Purge 2. L.A. Feature production levels finished last quarter within 0.1 percent of their 5-year rolling average.

“History teaches us how quickly apparent gains in local production can be swept away,” Audley concluded. “Strengthening the programs that make California competitive and attractive for filming is essential to our state’s long-term prosperity.”

* On-location production figures are based on days of permitted production within the jurisdictions served by FilmL.A. One permitted production day (PPD) is defined as a single crew’s permission to film a single project at a single defined location during any given 24-hour period. This 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.

For information about long-term L.A. film production trends, see “Filming On-Location in Los Angeles: 1993-2013,” available from FilmL.A. Research.