L.A. On-Location Filming Increases in Third Quarter

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Thanks to California tax incentives and an increase in reality programming, both feature film and tv production is up overall.

Driven by California state tax incentives, on-location feature film production in Los Angeles increased 49.9% during the third quarter of 2011, compared to the same period in 2010.

That included production on director Christopher Nolan’s big-budget film Magnus Rex, director Oliver Stone’s Savages, End of Watch and He Loves Me, among others.  

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Eight of the projects that shot in L.A. city or country received subsidies under the state of California’s production incentive program, which is designed to stop runaway production by  keeping movie, TV and commercial shoots in the state. That represented 12.5% of the movies shot on location in the L.A. area during the quarter.

Across all categories, filming in L.A. was up 15.4% in the third quarter, according to data released Tuesday by Film LA, the non-profit that coordinates permits for filmed entertainment shot on location in the city of Los Angeles and unincorporated areas. Their stats do not cover movies, TV shows or commercials which shoot on studio lots and do not require permits to shoot on the streets around L.A.

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Television production was up 5.8% percent for the period mainly because of increases in reality TV shoots. TV sitcom’ production was up 12.6% and pilots were up 88.5%. However, the TV drama category was down 20.3%, according to the report. Among the TV dramas that did shoot in L.A., 10.4% received California state subsidies.

“Unfortunately, our summer prediction of diminished third quarter TV Drama production was spot-on,” said FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “While the California state incentive brought six television dramas to Los Angeles this quarter, we’ve seen other jurisdictions capture an unusually high number of these economically beneficial projects.”   

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Commercial production was up 16.5% during the quarter, which is a turnaround after a slight decrease during the second quarter. Overall, commercial production in L.A. is up 3.4% for the year to date.

“It’s important to remember that increases in local production days mean local workers are being hired and local businesses are seeing a benefit,” Audley added. “The California Film and Television Tax Credit Program is a proven job creator.”

More info on the report and state programs can be found at filmworksla.com.