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HomeNewsOverall On-Location Filming Springs Forward in Los Angeles

Overall On-Location Filming Springs Forward in Los Angeles

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FilmL.A. – the not-for-profit community benefit organization that coordinates permits for filmed entertainment shot on location in the City of Los Angeles, unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County and other local jurisdictions – released its official report showing an 18 percent first quarter increase in area on-location filming. A total of 11,087 permitted production days (PPD) were recorded for the period, compared to the 9,408 PPD logged in 2009.

On-location feature film production managed a quarterly year-over-year gain of one percent (929 PPD in 2010 vs. 921 in 2009) for the quarter. The category’s near-break-even was propped up by the presence of a significant number of feature film projects qualified to receive the California Film and Television Tax Credit. In all, 11 state-incentivized feature film projects shot on-location in the region during the first quarter of 2010. The 184 PPD contributed by these projects made up 20 percent of the category’s quarterly yield.

“I can say with certainty that most, if not all, of the incentivized feature films would not have shot in California, were it not for our tax credit program,” said Amy Lemisch, director of the California Film Commission, which administers the program.

“The fruits of the incentive program became evident in local Feature production levels during the latter part of 2009,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley. “Complementing the state incentive program, recent initiatives taken by the City of Los Angeles should help us attract the kinds of projects that once ran away.”

The first quarter of 2010 also brought a significant bounce for commercials, with production jumping 61 percent (2,034 PPD in 2010 vs. 1,266 PPD in 2009). The increase gave the commercials category – plagued by annual declines since 2006 – its strongest quarterly showing in three years.

The quarter saw a marked increase in the number of automobile commercials, which had fallen off in 2008 and 2009 as economic woes led to reductions in advertising spending.

Due to its varied urban, rural and mountain landscapes, the L.A. region has long been popular with car commercial producers. Though only 35 car commercials were shot on-location in the first quarter of 2009, that number rose to 66 during the first quarter of 2010.

Television production, which was also in need of a boost after three consecutive quarters of double-digit losses, managed a first quarter gain of 14 percent (4,881 PPD in 2010 vs. 4,279 PPD in 2009). TV Pilots and reality TV led among television subcategories with PPD gains of 42 percent and 38 percent respectively. TV dramas and TV sitcoms, meanwhile, slipped 17 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively.

Pilot season this year was more robust than anticipated, with more projects shot in the region than in previous years. Of the 129 total projects FilmL.A. tracked in the 2009/2010 development cycle, 76 filmed in Los Angeles, giving the region a 59 percent share of overall television pilot production. This share is slightly greater than what Los Angeles captured during the previous development cycle. Los Angeles landed 59 out of 103 available projects for a 57 percent stake in 2008/2009.

“The film and television industries underpin our economy and are woven into the fabric of our culture,” Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “We know we have to compete with other production-hungry locales, and we are working to ensure the best place to produce movies and TV shows is right here at home in Los Angeles.”

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