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FilmL.A. Reports Drop in Location Film Permits

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FilmL.A. – the not-for-profit organization that coordinates permits for filmed entertainment shot on-location in the City of Los Angeles and other local jurisdictions – announced that overall on-location production slipped slightly in the last quarter compared to the same period last year.

The organization reported that there was a decline of 0.4 percent in Permitted Production Days (PPD) over the same period last year. (11,209 PPD in 2012 vs. 11,260 PPD in 2011).

Continuing a months-long trend, the television category suffered double-digit losses due to changes in the local production landscape. The television category slipped 15.4 percent for the period (3,405 PPD in 2012 vs. 4,024 in 2011), led by lackluster numbers in TV drama (down 39.2 percent to 581 PPD) and TV Reality (down 16.8 percent to 1,461 PPD).

But the TV sitcoms category was up 35.6 percent to 274 PPD. Production for TV pilots also showed gains in the second quarter, up 36.8 percent to 253 PPD, which the organization attributes to a slow start to pilot season.

In FilmL.A.’s recent 2012 Television Pilot Production Report, the organization indicated the Los Angeles region continues to lose TV drama production share to other North American jurisdictions. Additionally, although L.A. is home to almost all of television’s new and continuing comedy series, many of these shows are shot on soundstages, and therefore, they are not counted in FilmL.A.’s quarterly surveys of local on-location production.

“For many years, we’ve relied on television to backfill the hole left by the flight of feature film production from the L.A. region,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley. “Television has been our bread and butter, but with Sacramento’s inaction to stem our losses, other states and countries are eating off our plate.”

The California Film & Television Tax Credit Program, which brought five state-qualified television projects to Los Angeles last quarter, did little to prop up the ailing category. State-qualified projects, including Major Crimes, Pretty Little Liars, Rizzoli and Isles and Switched at Birth, contributed 61 PPD across various television subcategories, representing 1.8 percent of total TV days logged during the quarter.

On-location feature production increased 9.1 percent for the quarter (1,750 PPD in 2012 vs. 1,604 PPD in 2011).

The California Film & Television Tax Credit Program delivered a predictable boost to the category. From April through June, state-qualified feature projects generated 160 PPD for the region, representing 9.1 percent of the quarterly total.

According to FilmLA, the state’s tax incentive was wholly responsible for the feature category’s second-quarter growth. Qualified feature projects included The Bling Ring, Look of Love and Stand Up Guys.

Production in the commercial category increased 28.1 percent for the quarter (1,901 PPD in 2012 vs. 1,484 PPD in 2011), continuing its strong performance seen throughout 2011. Commercial producers cited the upcoming Summer Olympic Games as a significant driver of the commercial production increase.

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