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L.A. Area On-Location Filming Increases 9.5 Percent in Third Quarter

October 9, 2013 | By

FilmL.A. announced that L.A. area on-location filming increased 9.5 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. The organization, which serves as the official film office of the City of Los Angeles and surrounding areas, reported 11,792 Permitted Production Days (PPD) in 2013 vs. 10,773 PPD in the same period last year. However, the organization characterized the quarter as one of “modest recovery,” citing a lag in local TV production.

On-location feature production increased 19.5 percent for the quarter to 1,959 PPD, a continuing sign of recovery in a segment long punished by runaway production. The category outperformed its five-year quarterly average by 14.6 percent, while still falling thousands of PPD short of its record in 1996. Feature film production, like scripted television production, is important because of its significant employment and spending impacts.

“I’ve made the industry a priority for my administration because it generates 500,000 jobs,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “This isn’t about the stars we see on the screen but about carpenters, caterers and electricians and the stores they shop in.”

The California Film and Television Tax Credit Program has helped support local feature production since 2009. State-qualified feature projects generated 107 PPD this July through September – comprising 5.5 percent of the category’s quarterly total. State-qualified feature projects in L.A. included Best Man, Jersey Boys, Kitchen Sink, OT Beach and Ride.

The television production category, which remains the region’s largest measurable film production driver, finished the quarter down 3.6 percent to 4,091 PPD.

Local TV production is depressed generally, but double-digit declines in on-location TV Reality (down 14.3 percent to 1,353 PPD), TV Sitcom (down 15.0 percent to 517 PPD) and web-based TV production (down 15.6 percent to 357 PPD) are most to blame for TV’s quarterly decline.

State-qualified Television projects generated 182 PPD from July through September – comprising 18.5 percent of all TV drama activity. State-qualified television projects in L.A. included Lost Angels, Major Crimes, Rizzoli and Isles and Teen Wolf.

The commercials category finished the quarter up 17.7 percent to 1,925 PPD, its strongest showing so far this year. Production in this category has increased dramatically over the past few years. Until this quarter, 2013 production levels were trailing industry expectations.

“Any increase in local production is cause for celebration, as long as we don’t lose sight of the big picture,” FilmL.A. president Paul Audley said. “California has yet to match and overcome out of state competition for this business. For feature film production to be where it once was and should be in L.A., production would need to increase by 125 percent. Until Sacramento acts to level the playing field, we won’t see the kind of growth and prosperity that California families are counting on.”

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