Filming in L.A. Soars 15% in 2010

Sitcoms, reality shows and the California tax credit helped attract new business.


Thanks to California’s Film and Television Tax Credit, on-location filming in the Los Angeles area surged in the final quarter of 2010, and film, TV and commercial production increased nearly 15 percent for all of 2010 over the 2009 figures.
Commercial production posted the biggest year-to-year increase, rising by 28.1 percent. On-location feature production logged a year-over-year gain of 8.1 percent, and TV production was up 11.9 percent.
FilmL.A., the non-profit organization that coordinates permits for on-location shoots in the city of Los Angeles, unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County and other local jurisdictions, issued its annual report Tuesday. In all, FilmL.A. recorded 43,646 permitted production days in 2010, compared to 37,979 in 2009.
Feature production surged by 28.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 versus the fourth quarter of 2009. FilmL.A. attributed the increase in filming to the California tax credit, which the California Film Commission estimates has brought $2 billion in direct spending into California communities since it was launched in mid-2009.
In 2010, the program was responsible for 26% of the local film production in L.A.
TV production posted a fourth quarter gain of 49.9 percent versus the same quarter in 2009. The two TV categories that saw the biggest increase were sitcoms and reality shows, while both dramas (many of which shifted onto studio lots) and TV pilots were down. Incentive-qualifying productions made up just 2.6 percent of L.A.’s on-location TV filming in 2010.
While the commercials category had a weak fourth quarter, commercials’ annual increase of 28.1 percent was the category’s largest year-over-year increase since tracking began in 1993. “The uptick in numbers clearly reflects the reality that the advertising industry is rebounding nicely from one of its greatest slumps in history,” Matt Miller, president and CEO, Assn. of Independent Commercial Producers, said.
Surveying the increase in production over the three categories, Film L.A. president Paul Audley said, “On balance, the numbers are positive, and I am cautiously optimistic about 2011. Hopefully, with FilmL.A.’s new Film Works’ marketing campaign and the California Film & Television Tax Credit, our state and region will win back entertainment projects and jobs once taken for granted.”