L.A. feature prod'n dips 5%


Although commercials rebounded slightly, feature film production in the Los Angeles region dropped 5% in the third quarter, compared with the same period in 2005, according to figures released by FilmL.A.

Features accounted for 2,423 permitted production days during the quarter, compared with 2,559 last year. The loss continues to keep local feature production far below its 1996 peak, when a total of 3,580 permitted days were recorded during the third quarter.

Despite the drop in feature filming, overall on-location feature film, television and commercial production was up slightly during the third quarter, posting a 7% increase over the same period last year and reversing a slip during the second quarter of 2006.

The overall increase resulted in a quarterly total of 9,930 permitted production days, compared to 9,262 permitted days during the same period last year. These figures for the third quarter reverse a 7% year-to-year loss during the second quarter of 2006.

FilmL.A. attributes the recovery to robust fall television production. TV production days jumped 15.5% to 5,833 during the third quarter, compared with 5,049 days for the same period last year. Dramas accounted for 36% of TV production, while reality TV remained the leader, accounting for more than 41% of all on-location television activity.

Third-quarter commercial production days totaled 1,647, a 1% increase over the same period last year -- a rise insufficient to make up for an 11.4% collective loss for commercials during the first two quarters of 2006.

Features that recently have shot in Los Angeles include "Spider-Man 3," "Transformers" and "Live Free or Die Hard."

On-location production numbers reported Friday by FilmL.A. represent permitted days of location production in the city of Los Angeles, unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, the cities of West Hollywood, Diamond Bar and South Gate, the Angeles National Forest and more than 800 facilities operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District. They do not include production that occurs on soundstages or in surrounding cities.