Filming in Los Angeles Begins to Rebound as More Projects Restart Production

Los Angeles downtown skyline
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Film permit requests in the city were up 43 percent this past month compared to the top of the year.

Filming in Los Angeles is beginning to pick back up again.

FilmLA, the organization that tracks production in the city, says it received 777 film permit applications in February, representing a 43 percent increase compared to the month of January. The organization notes that a late-month surge in production took place, making February the third busiest month the city has experienced with regards to filming since last June. That said, production activity remains around 40 percent below normal for this time of year.

Film permit applications had declined from November through January — from a peak of 880 in October to 813 in November, 613 in December and then just 543 in January — when the virus was surging in and around Los Angeles and multiple guilds and the County Health Department recommended a temporary production pause. That steep decline in local production has begun to ease up, according to the non-profit's most recent data.

Of course, production first restarted last June after a roughly three-month-long shutdown due to COVID-19. In the 37 weeks since the city has been reopened for filming, FilmLA has processed approximately 5,533 film permit applications spanning 3,789 unique projects.

“As new COVID-19 case counts diminish and more projects restart production, we are optimistic that the local film economy will soon be back on track,” said FilmLA president Paul Audley. “On-location filming, for months conducted safely in observance of strict health protocols, will surely rise again with the reopening of businesses and expanding vaccine availability.”

Some of the series that either recently started or resumed filming in the region include All American (the CW), American Crime Impeachment Story (FX), Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO), Dear White People (Netflix), Generation (HBO Max), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Lone Star (Fox), Seal Team (CBS), Shameless (Showtime), This is Us (NBC) and You (Lifetime).

Reality TV series that shot throughout Los Angeles since the first of the year include American Gangster: Trap Queens, Botched, Legendary, Lucky Dog, MTV Cribs, Property Brothers: Forever Home, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Dogs.

As for feature films shooting in the area, most have been indies. Some of the larger productions, however, include the Michael Bay-directed Ambulance with Jake Gyllenhaal, A24’s C’Mon C’Mon starring Joaquin Phoenix and Netflix’s Sweet Girl with Jason Momoa and Marisa Tomei.