TV Production Is Booming In California.
Big-budget blockbuster movies still shoot mostly outside California, but the surge in content from streaming services such as Amazon, Netflix and Hulu, as well as the major networks and premium cable channels has had a trickle-down effect through the L.A. production industry. Expanded state film tax credits also are giving producers more incentives to shoot closer to Hollywood.
It’s a marked economic reversal from just a few years ago when Hollywood was contending with runaway productions fleeing to states such as Georgia, Louisiana and Maryland, where it is often cheaper to shoot.
The number of live-action scripted TV series has risen over the last seven years, from 198 in 2010 to 426 in 2017, and among locations with 10 or more shows, California had 50% of all scripted series produced in 2016-2017. New York had 15%, British Columbia 10%, Georgia 8%, Ontario 8% and all other states 8%.
Shows typically employ hundreds of individuals directly and many more indirectly through local vendors who provide everything from the visual effects that enhance a shot, to the prop houses that supply the physical furniture and decorations for sets. Local businesses say that the economic ripple effect is being driven mainly by streaming shows.
California’s tax credits for TV and film, which were boosted in 2015, have also played a significant role in reviving local filming. However, several industry leaders are concerned that the conclusion of the program in 2020 could send TV production back to states that offer better incentives.