On-location television production in Los Angeles County declined in 2012, drawn away by cheaper filming costs in other states and by shows moving to studio soundstages, according to figures released by FilmL.A.
Overall, on-location filming in the region of television series, feature films, commercials, television webisodes and student projects increased in 2012 to 46,254 permitted production days as compared to 45,484 permitted production days in 2011, said FilmL.A., the nonprofit agency that coordinates on-location filming in the city and county of Los Angeles and other jurisdictions.
A permitted production day is a single crew’s permission to film a single project at a single defined location during any given 24-hour period. FilmL.A.’s numbers do not include filming on studio lots or certified soundstages.
Television series – dramas and sitcoms – was the only category tracked by FilmL.A. showing a decrease in 2012 as compared to 2011. Television shows filmed on location for 16,762 permitted production days in 2012, a decrease of 3.4 percent from the 17,349 permitted production days in 2011.
In the television category, dramas showed a 20 percent decrease from 2011, reality shows an 11.8 percent decrease and sitcoms a 53 percent increase in on-location filming.
Dramas moving production to soundstages and back-lots contributed to the drop in on-location filming, said FilmL.A. President Paul Audley.
“Unfortunately, last year we also saw a record number of new TV drama series shot out of state, resulting in negative economic consequences,” Audley said in a prepared statement.
On-location feature film production increased to 5,892 permitted production days in 2012, the best in that category since 2008. In 2011, there were 5,682 permitted production days.
Commercial filming increased by 14.1 percent with 8,078 permitted production days in 2012 as compared to the 7,079 permitted production days in 2011.