San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Location Filming Falls in First Quarter

By Mark Madler Wednesday, April 12, 2017

On-location film, television and commercial production fell by 2.1 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago, according to figures released Wednesday by FilmL.A.

The Hollywood nonprofit that coordinates location filming permits in Los Angeles, unincorporated county and other jurisdictions reported that feature film production slipped the most and was at levels last seen in 2012.

During the first three months of the year, film crews worked on location for 9,496 shoot days, as compared to 9,703 shoot days in the same period a year earlier, a decrease of 2.1 percent. A shoot day is one crew’s permission to film at one or more locations during a 24‐hour period.

The statistics track on-location filming of television series, feature films, commercials, web videos, music videos and student projects – but not work on studio lots or soundstages.

Feature films accounted for 729 shoot days in the first quarter, a decrease of 36.3 percent from the 1,145 shoot days in the first quarter 2016. Projects receiving incentives from the state’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program made up 163 shoot days, or about 22.3 percent of the features total.

“Feature production levels are proving highly cyclical and difficult to evaluate on a quarter-by-quarter basis,” FilmL.A. President Paul Audley said in a statement. “Last year local feature production hit a seven-year high – so trendspotting in this segment requires a deeper dive.”

Television had a 0.6 percent drop in shoot days in the first quarter, falling to 3,913 from the 3,944 in the same period a year earlier. On-location filming for television comedies rose by 9.2 percent while dramas fell by 8.4 percent in the first quarter. Web series production increased 33.7 percent to 508 shoot days.

Filming for commercials dropped 2.6 percent in the quarter to 1,484 shoot days compared to 1,523 shoot days in the first quarter 2016.