Film and TV Production Slumps in Los Angeles
FilmL.A., the not-for-profit community benefit organization that coordinates permits for productions in Los Angeles, announced that nearly every major filming category is currently in decline. Overall on-location production dropped 3.9 percent last quarter when compared to the same period last year. Television projects slipped 1.4 percent for the period, led by steep production declines for dramas (down by 18.5 percent) and reality shows (down 20.5 percent). TV pilots also went down by 45.9 percent, though the quarter is not usually strong for this category. “The television landscape is changing in Los Angeles, and, economically, the sector has taken a turn for the worse,” reports FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “Many of the new TV projects we’re coordinating permits
for have low spending and employment impacts. More needs to be done policy-wise to help return sought-after TV drama projects to Los Angeles.”
It’s interesting to note that the quarter’s lagging production totals include an increase TV sitcoms and Webisodes. Contributing about 11 percent of annual TV production, sitcoms increased by 47.6 percent for the third quarter, while the relatively new category of TV Webisodes saw an unanticipated production surge of 148.8 percent. (Webisodes make up about 9 percent of annual TV production.) Additionally, the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program brought five state-qualified TV projects to Los Angeles last quarter, including “Body of Proof,” “Bunheads” and “Rizzoli and Isles.” These projects contributed to various television subcategories, representing 1.1 percent of total TV days logged during the quarter.
Commercial production sank by 5.3 percent for the quarter, which ended a year-long winning streak, but remains up 10.4 percent for the year. On the feature film front, on-location production plunged 21.1 percent for the quarter. The California Film & Television Tax Credit Program brought just a few new projects to L.A., as fewer feature projects qualified for state credits this year. These state-qualified films, such as Jesus in Cowboy Boots and The Hive, represented 6.1 percent of the quarterly total. “We expect to see more state-qualified projects pull permits to film in L.A.,” says Audley. “We applaud the recent two-year extension of California’s film-incentive program, and support expanding the program to stop the production outflow and attract a more diverse slate of high-value productions.”