Location filming in the Los Angeles area dropped 3 percent in the first quarter of 2015, with the biggest decrease coming from feature film production, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A.
The Hollywood non-profit group that handles film permits in the city and unincorporated county reported feature films had 168 fewer on-location shoot days in the quarter, a drop of 15.4 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.
Television remained the area’s bright spot albeit at lower level than in previous quarters. All television production increased 1.7 percent during the first quarter to 3,312 shoot days. One-hour dramas had the highest increase at 30 percent while sitcoms, pilots and web-based series all decreased.
Commercials had the highest increase of 6.2 percent or 1,435 shoot days when compared to the first quarter a year earlier. Some of the projects filming in the region included retail chains Best Buy and TJ Maxx, audio products developer Bose, consumer electronics giant Samsung and online review website Yelp!
In terms of feature films, the report concluded that production activity was closely tied to the availability of state tax incentives. Films receiving tax credits accounted for 42 shoot days. Without those projects, which included “Scouts vs. Zombies” and “Message from the King,” the total shoot days would have been 4.5 percent lower.
Television series “Justified,” “Hit the Floor,” “Murder in the First” and “Teen Wolf” were among those receiving tax credits and accounting for 142 total shoot days.
“We are grateful for the increased production, especially in television, associated with the current tax credit,” FilmL.A. President Paul Audley said in a prepared statement. “We remain hopeful that the region will also see gains in the feature category once the new credit adopted in AB 1839 takes effect in a few months.”
AB 1839, signed into law in September, increased the tax credit to $330 million a year for the next five years from the current $100 million a year. The bill also made changes to how film companies would apply for the credits.
FilmL.A. statistics track on-location filming, but not work on studio lots or soundstages. A “shoot day,” is defined as one crew’s permission to film at one or more locations during a 24‐hour period.