L.A.'s On-Location Filming Up 19.5 Percent in Q3

Feature film shooting rebounded smartly while activity in the largest category -- television production -- fell 3.6 percent.

The on-location filming in Los Angeles of Jersey Boys, Kitchen Sink and a few other movies helped fuel a 19.5 percent increase in feature production during the third quarter of 2013, which Film L.A. calls "a continuing sign of recovery in a segment long punished by runaway production."

There were 1,959 production days for features during the period, Film L.A. reported, meaning the category outperformed its five-year quarterly average by 14.6 percent, but the total was still far below the record number of location production days set in 1996.

To reach that level again, the number of days would have to rise 125 percent, according to president of Film L.A., Paul Audley.

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"Any increase in local production is a cause for celebration as long as we don't lose sight of the big picture," said Audley. "California has yet to match and overcome out-of-state competition for this business."

Production was helped by California's tax-credit incentive program, according to Audley. State-qualified features represented 5.5 percent of the features and 18.5 percent of the TV drama category. TV dramas that got state incentives included Lost Angels, Major Crimes and Teen Wolf.

The data released Tuesday by Film L.A., a private nonprofit organization that acts as the film office for the city and county of Los Angeles, showed an overall increase in all categories of 9.5 percent, which the organization characterized as a "modest recovery."

That was despite a fall in the largest single category, television production, which was down 3.6 percent during the quarter to 4,091 production days. That represented double-digit declines in TV reality (down 14.3 percent to 1,353 days), TV sitcoms (down 15 percent to 517 days) and web-based TV production (down 15.6 percent to 357 days).

The TV commercials category was up 17.7 percent during the quarter to 1,925 production days. According to Film L.A., commercial production has increased in recent years, but until this quarter "production levels were trailing industry expectations."