On-location shoots rise in Los Angeles
State tax credits, robust pilot season credited for increaseOn-location film and TV shoots rose 18% in the L.A. area through March.
In its first upbeat report in years, film permitting organization FilmL.A. said Thursday that it recorded a total 11,087 permitted production days in the first quarter, up from 9,408 days logged in a similar three-month span last year.
Feature film production managed only a 1% gain, to 929 production days, but even that was taken as a hopeful sign after a long string of successive quarterly declines. Film work was bolstered by 11 projects shot on location that qualified for state tax credits, the nonprofit group said.
"The 184 permitted production days contributed by these projects made up 20% of the category's quarterly yield," FilmL.A. said.
"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," California Film Commission Amy Lemisch said.
FilmL.A. president Paul Audley said recently passed city incentives will complement the state tax credits to "help us attract the kinds of projects that once ran away."
Television production -- which posted declines in each of the past three FilmL.A. quarterly reports -- registered a 14% gain in the latest three-month period to 4,881 production days.
"Pilot season this year was more robust than anticipated," the group said.
L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said: "The film and television industries underpin our economy and are woven into the fabric of our culture. 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."
The commercials category climbed a big 61% in the period for its strongest quarter in three years. Commercials projects accounted for 2,034 production days in the latest quarter.