California Sees Increase in Film Production

Zade Rosenthal/Marvel
'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

The state was home to 22 major productions in 2014, up from 15 in 2013.

California saw an uptick in film production in 2014, with 22 movies filming in the state as contrasted with just 15 in 2013.

Those numbers were released Thursday as part of the 2014 Feature Film Study by FilmL.A., the film office for the city and county of Los Angeles. The report, focusing on films produced by the six major studios and five of the largest independent companies, surveyed 106 feature films, comprising seven animated movies and 99 live-action features, which accounted for a total of $6.3 billion in production costs.

In terms of shooting locations, California ranked No. 1 among the 30 states and countries where filming took place. With 22 films to its credit, California outranked its closest competitors New York (with 13), the U.K. (12), Canada (12) and Georgia state (10).

Those 22 projects brought $1.1 billion in total production spending to the state, according to the report. Among the California-based live-action features in the study, eight out of 18 projects were made in the state because of the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program. Those films generated $241 million local production spending.

The biggest movies didn’t necessarily head to California, though. The study included two dozen live-action films with budgets above $100 million, but only two of those movies — Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Interstellar — were primarily filmed in California, and even they spent some time out of state.

The study also found that California-based VFX houses performed the majority of the work on just seven of 24 big-budget live-action films, underscoring the flight of the VFX business from California.

The study concluded that the impact of the state’s improved tax credit should be seen in an increase in big-budget films shooting in California in the coming years, noting “it will take at least two years before such films are released theatrically and begin to register in future FilmL.A. Feature Film Production Reports. In the meantime, most California-made feature films with budgets over $100 million are likely to be animated projects.”

Commented Mayor Eric Garcetti, “This report once again highlights the economic impact of the entertainment industry. Hollywood is the bedrock of our middle class in L.A., and our new tax credit and the productions it will bring back to California will supports tens of thousands of jobs and billions of economic activity.”