By Peter Caranicas
Accurate labor and production statistics for the entertainment industry will soon be a reality, if all goes according to the plans of the Entertainment Industry Development Corp.’s Entertainment Data Project (EDP). The EIDC recently gave a progress report on EDP’s research and outlined some preliminary findings. Among them:
· The production of U.S. feature films (defined as all films released to theaters) grew from 326 in 1991 to 485 in 2002, a jump of nearly 50 percent at an annual growth rate of about four percent.
· Big-budget features (defined as those costing $36 million and over) were a growing portion of all releases during the same decade, increasing their share by 10 percent to 45 percent.
· The total number of entertainment “establishments” operating in California increased from 11,594 in 1991 to 14,687 in 2001. (An establishment is defined as a physical location where entertainment-related activity takes place. EDP has expanded upon the government’s definitions of such activities to include such entities as broadcast operations, entertainment listings services, etc., to more accurately reflect industry reality.)
· The total number of entertainment-related jobs jumped from 297,000 in 1991 to 363,000 in 2001. Entertainment employment in California grew faster than employment in other sectors during the first part of the period, but fell off in recent years.
· Entertainment payrolls have generally grown faster than entertainment employment, indicating a rise in wages.
· Entertainment employment is dominated by small firms with one to 19 employees.
EIDC emphasized that the data is still incomplete and that the results will be refined in the months ahead. The organization also stated that information relating to features is more complete than information relating to TV projects and commercials, and that this will also be addressed in the future.
EDP was created through a $742,500 two-year state grant in May, 2002, to rectify what EIDC describes as “a dearth of good economic and employment data on this critical California industry.” Its mission is to develop a resource that will provide reliable data about the entertainment industry’s employment and production and to develop an infrastructure for regularly updating and reporting this information.
By Peter Caranicas