In FilmLA’s latest report, on-location filming in Greater Los Angeles has declined 9.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 due to a simultaneous decrease in Feature, Television and Commercial production. In all, area filmmakers logged 8,843 Shoot Days (SD) from January through then end of March. Despite the drop in production, FilmLA’s Research group expects local filming – which reached near- record highs in 2018 – to increase as the year progresses.
Timing appears to have had a role in the decline. Only one project brought to Los Angeles by the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program has filmed on-location since January, after other projects wrapped by the year’s end. According to the California Film Commission (CFC), several new feature films are to begin production in the state, including 18 projects (10 studio projects and 8 independent projects) for the tax credit program in April.
Feature film production decreased 13.0 percent to 708 SD in the first quarter, and Television decreased 13.4 percent to 3,139 SD. Scripted series activity was brisk, bringing increases for TV Drama (up to 4.6 percent to 1,197 SD) and TV Comedy production (up 36.8 percent to 554 SD). Losses came from substantial drops in TV Pilot (down 60.3 percent to 108 SD), Web Based TV (down 28.5 percent to 259 SD), and TV Reality production (down 25.2 percent to 690 SD).
On-location Commercial production declined 15.1 percent to 1,387 SD. Usually, Commercials are a very strong category in Los Angeles, and the first quarter of 2018 was its most productive quarter on record. Contract talks between SAG-AFTRA and commercial producers may have played a role in the decrease. Commercial producers are also subject to economic pressures; higher-budget projects are often filmed where tax incentive support is available.
“As always, we caution against inferring too much from a single report,” observed Paul Audley, President of FilmLA . “California and Los Angeles will continue to attract new film projects, because our creative workforce and support resources are unmatched in all the world.”
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