Los Angeles Filming Drops Despite Surge in Scripted TV Shoots

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TV dramas and sitcoms are the bright spot in a mixed quarterly report from FilmL.A.

On-location film production in the greater Los Angeles area dropped by nearly 2 percent during the second quarter of 2015, but the results would have been worse if it were not for growth in scripted TV, particularly TV dramas.

According to the latest statistics released Tuesday by FilmL.A., the nonprofit that oversees filming in the city and county of Los Angeles as well as adjoining jurisdictions, overall production slipped by 1.9 percent in the second quarter of 2015, compared with the same period in 2014, to 9,396 shoot days.

While feature-film production increased by 0.4 percent (to 1,193 shooting days), commercial production slipped by 7.3 percent (to 1,246 shooting days). Both categories are tracking down year-over-year and against their respective five-year averages.

But those numbers were offset by a mini-boom in scripted TV shoots. TV drama production rose 12.3 percent (to 1,004 shooting days) in the second quarter of 2015. TV sitcom production, although it is a smaller category, was up a dramatic 94.2 percent to 505 shooting days, and web-based TV increased 34 percent to 437 shooting days. The only TV category that was down was TV reality production, which slipped 13.8 percent to 1,420 shooting days.

The upbeat TV numbers are in line with a separate FilmL.A. report on TV pilot production released earlier this month that showed that 22 dramas approved for California’s film incentive annually spend about $1.2 billion in the state. Currently, California is host to 53 one-hour dramas, the most in a single year since 2010.

“This is a mixed report, but things are certainly looking brighter for television in Los Angeles,” FilmL.A. president Paul Audley said. “This year-round production of scripted series, plus the support of the California Film & Television Tax Credit, invites an optimistic outlook for this segment.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti commented, “Today’s report further proves the critical importance of our new California Film Tax Credit, which will keep production where it belongs — in Los Angeles. I look forward to seeing accelerated growth in L.A.’s film production as the next round of film tax credits take effect. The new application period opened yesterday, July 13, and specifically targets feature films and independent projects.”

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