Los Angeles Almost Set Record for Local Filming in 2018

Despite declines in television production, overall filming in the Greater L.A. area still rose 5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
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Los Angeles

Los Angeles finished out 2018 strong as a filming destination.


According to a new FilmLA report, on-location shooting in the Greater L.A. area rose 5 percent in the fourth quarter, marking a solid finish for a year in which local film production came close setting to record highs (as shown in the chart below, 2016 remains the best year on record).

Filmmakers logged over 10,000 shoot days in the fourth quarter and nearly 40,000 shoot days for all of 2018. The 1.3 percent year-over-year annual increase can be attributed to double-digit increases in feature films (up 12 percent), TV dramas (up 11 percent) and TV pilots (up 15 percent), in addition to a solid showing for commercials (up 9 percent).

"[The year] 2018 concluded a third consecutive year of record-level film and television production for greater Los Angeles, due in no small part to the California Film & TV Tax Credit program," said FilmLA president Paul Audley. "The return of jobs and businesses in the film industry is great news for our region and we look forward to a great 2019."

Television presents the most complicated picture. Although the TV category overall lost some ground in the fourth quarter (slipping 0.3 percent), TV reality production (up 21 percent) and TV dramas (up 9 percent) both staged late-year rallies. But other tracked television categories — including comedy and web-based projects — lost ground in 2018, bringing the overall television category down 5 percent.

Incentivized TV drama projects (such as Euphoria, Good Girls, Legion and Lucifer) accounted for 15 percent of the recorded shoot days in that category for the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, incentivized TV comedy projects — Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Veep — accounted for 29 percent of the activity in the category.


On-location commercial production continued its rise in the fourth quarter, increasing 5.5 percent. The commercials category finished the year almost 9 percent ahead of 2017. See below for a breakdown of the past five years of filming in Los Angeles by shoot days.