Los Angeles Location Shooting Hits Record in First Quarter of This Year

Downtown Los Angeles Skyline Silhouette - H 2014
AP Images

Downtown Los Angeles Skyline Silhouette - H 2014

Buoyed by California's new Film & Television Credit Program, both film and TV shoots in L.A. and surrounding jurisdictions logged double-digit increases.

Film and TV on-location shooting in the greater Los Angeles area is booming.

FilmL.A., the official film office for the city and county of Los Angeles, reported Tuesday that the first quarter of 2016 was the busiest quarter ever, with 9,703 shoot days taking place. That number was up 11.4 percent from the first quarter of 2015.

California’s newly revamped Film & Television Tax Credit Program was a significant factor in the increase, the film office said.

On-location feature production — movies shot not on soundstages but on the streets of L.A. and 20 other surrounding jurisdictions — increased by 23.7 percent to 1,145 shooting days. Four films — The God Particle, Please Stand By, Sentence and Why Him — that benefited from the tax credits accounted for 155 of those shooting days.

“We predicted we’d see a boost in feature film production in the first quarter thanks to the state tax credit, and we’re glad to see that happening,” FilmL.A. president Paul Audley said in announcing the latest statistics. “In addition, the non-incentivized counts show Los Angeles remains a popular choice among film, television and commercial producers.”

Overall television production posted a 19.1 percent increase. TV dramas taking advantage of the tax credits included Animal Kingdom, Rosewood, Twin Peaks and Westworld, while comedies that snared tax credits included Veep and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

TV drama accounted for the 1,091 shooting days, up 3.1 percent from the first quarter of 2015. But TV comedy registered the bigger increase, up 83.2 percent, with 557 shooting days in the first quarter of 2016 versus 304 shooting days in the first quarter of 2015.

Local TV pilot production grew by 2.7 percent, with 14 percent of that increase coming from tax-credit-incentivized pilots Bunker Hill, Nineteen and Pitch.

Meanwhile, commercial production increased by 6.1 percent to 1,523 shooting days.

“The very encouraging first-quarter numbers from FilmL.A. demonstrate the impact of California’s expanded tax credit program,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “They illustrate that the Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0 is working precisely as intended to attract and retain all types of productions, especially TV projects that create steady long-term jobs for cast and crew.”