Los Angeles Production Dips in Third Quarter of 2017

However, TV dramas, feature productions and commercials saw single-digit increases.
Frank Ockenfels/FX
'American Horror Story: Cult' recently filmed in Los Angeles.

Filming in Los Angeles was down in the third quarter of 2017, according to a newly released FilmL.A. report.

On-location shooting in the greater Los Angeles area decreased 3.5 percent during the period compared to last year. In total, 9,455 shoot days were logged. Despite the overall decline, feature production rose 7.6 percent, TV drama production increased 4.1 percent and commercial production jumped 7.2 percent.

The overall drop of nearly 4 percent in local shooting this past year was largely driven by a decrease in local reality TV, which was down 20.4 percent to only 1,068 shoot days. Reality programming continues to be crowded out by the shift to scripted content. Also driving the decline was a drop in student filming over the summer. Still, on-location filming counts are over 10 percent higher than five years ago.

In all, TV production fell 9.1 percent, with only 4,021 shoot days for the quarter. Specific declines within the category include web-based TV (down 14.3 percent with 558 shoot days), TV comedy (down 17.3 percent to 534 shoot days) and TV pilots (down 60.3 percent to 60 shoot days). As FilmL.A. noted in its 2017 Pilot Production Report, local TV pilot activity began to slow in 2016 due to the record number of shows already in production or airing.

“It is important to note that despite a year-over-year decline in numbers for the third quarter, on-location production counts are over 10 percent higher than five years ago. Quarterly changes aside, we’ve seen L.A.-area film production stabilize at a high level,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley. “That brings a steadier employment picture for area cast and crew, and relief to local small-business owners happy to see filming come back.”

It's worth noting that the California film and television tax credit program contributed 133 feature film incentive filming days, 11.3 percent for the quarter. Among those movies are Ad Astra, Backseat, Book Club and Bright. Incentivized TV dramas contributed 35.4 percent during the same period, with projects including Code Black, American Horror Story: Cult, Heathers, Law & Order True Crime, Lucifer and The OrvilleOlive Forever, the only incentivized TV pilot in the quarter, accounted for 16.6 percent.