Filming in Los Angeles a Near-Total Loss Amid Pandemic, Report Finds

Hollywood Sign on November 16, 2005 in Los Angeles, California - Getty-H 2020
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Unsurprisingly, overall production declined 97.8 percent last quarter compared to last year, according to FilmLA.

It will come as a surprise to no one that filming in Los Angeles last quarter was practically nonexistent. A new FilmLA report calls the second quarter a "near-total loss" for on-location filming in the city, compared to the same period last year. The report, which examines April to June, offers a stark portrait of an industry on lockdown.

Overall production declined 97.8 percent to just 194 shoot days, says the organization — making the prior quarter the lowest filming levels on record. Of course, state and county orders mandated that production remained shut down from March 20 to June 15.

Although film production received the greenlight to resume in late June from state and local officials, FilmLA describes the return to work so far as "gradual and cautious." COVID-19 left no industry sector untouched, resulting in major declines in television (down 98.2 percent to 52 shoot days), commercials (down 95.5 percent to 58 shoot days) and feature films (down 99.7 percent to 3 shoot days).

"The first shutdowns we saw in March were voluntary, and it was hoped they could be temporary. Looking back, it was hard to imagine the impact the pandemic would have on entertainment projects in progress, and the economic security of local cast, crew and production vendors," noted FilmLA president Paul Audley.

"The good news," he added, "is that production is starting to responsibly return, with advertising shoots, commercials and limited television production now coming online. All permitted filming must comply with Health Orders as issued by County authorities. The measure of compliance we're seeing is a real help in keeping the industry on the road to recovery."