December shooting days in Southern California exceeded July’s tally to conclude an historic year.Despite fewer work days, due to the traditional holiday hiatus, the Entertainment Industry Development Corp. reported 4,086 on-location shooting days in December, ending a third record-breaking year.Television production accounted for roughly 35% of the 52,707 permits issued for on-location shoots—reflecting an average 145 per day in 2004.Television’s total of 18,257 shooting days was up 27% compared to 2004. Permits for on-location television shoots tracked by EIDC have set consecutive records since 2002.The 2004 feature film total was 8,707—off its historic highs but a 19% increase over 2004. Commercial shooting was strong in December with permits for 630 shooting days issued. Music video shoots were average at 95.Reality programming is the reason for the surge. A weak dollar and security concerns also encourage Los Angeles area shoots, according to EIDC president Steve MacDonald.EIDC statistics reflect on-location filming within the City of Los Angeles, the City of West Hollywood, the City of Diamond Bar, the City of South Gate, the Angeles National Forest, unincorporated portions of Los Angeles County, and at more than 800 facilities operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District. They do not include any production that occurs in any of the 95 other jurisdictions nor those that occur only on sound stages or in any of the numerous other jurisdictions such as Pasadena, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, etc.The 10-year average for on-location TV shoots is 810. Permits for 1,096 days were issued, an increase of 26% compared to the historical average. The busiest months were March with 2,466 shooting days, with August and October each reporting 1,841 shooting days. Every month of the year saw tallies greater than 1,000 shooting days. This is the first time that has occurred since EIDC began compiling stats in 1993.In 2004, on-location permits for feature films averaged 725 per month. December showed a strong 832 shooting days, up 22% compared to Dec. 2004. The five-year average is 662 for December. The 10-year average for December feature shoots is 732 a year, reflecting a slow decline. Year-end totals were 19% ahead of 2004. Feature shoots were weak in the first quarter of 2004 but showed a very strong year-over-year comparison since mid-year. On-location permits were 18% greater than 2003 from September through December.Commercial production has been strong throughout the year with a very good December tally of 630. The average per month was 558 during 2004 and the historic 10-year average is 494, indicating an upward trend. On-location commercial shoots were up 18% compared to 2004, reaching 6,703. The strongest months were February (up 30% compared to Feb. 2003) and June (which was 25% ahead of June 2003).Permits issued for music video shoots were 5% ahead of last year. On-location shoots have averaged about 100 per month since 2003. The December tally at 95 is in line with typical fourth-quarter activity. Music video production is seasonal with much of the work done during the first six months of the year. Shooting days topped 100 six times in 2004, but not since July.
Written by Dan Bolton