On-location filming dropped last year compared to the prior year, despite increases in television comedies and web-based content, according to figures released Friday by FilmL.A.
The Hollywood nonprofit that coordinates location film permits in Los Angeles, unincorporated Los Angeles County and other jurisdictions, handled 36,540 on-location shoot days during 2019, a 5.8 percent decrease from the previous year.
Three of the four categories the group tracks had shoot days go down last year, with feature films recording the highest drop at 15 percent to 3,715 shoot days. On-location television production decreased by 7 percent to 13,509 shoot days in 2019. Commercial production fell by 12.3 percent to 5,290 shoot days last year.
The one bright spot was the “other” category of music videos, student films, documentaries, industrial videos and still photography. Those productions increased by 1.5 percent to 14,026 shoot days last year.
A shoot day is one crew’s permission to film at one or more locations during a 24-hour period. FilmL.A.’s data does not include activity on soundstages or studio backlots.
Within the television category, last year saw increases in on-location filming for sitcoms to 2,083 shoot days from 1,810 in the previous year. Web-based programming increased in 2019 by 0.1 percent to 1,406 shoot days. Dramas, reality programs and pilots all decreased last year.
FilmL.A. attributed the 2.7 percent decline in dramas, to 4,716 shoot days, to fewer shows and fewer production days for recurring shows. Major series, including “Ballers,” “Legion” and “The Affair” ended production over the past six months.
FilmL.A. President Paul Audley again credited the state’s production tax incentives for creating an environment conducive to more filming in the Los Angeles region.
“The fact is California’s film incentive reliably brings L.A. around 30 percent more TV drama production, and around 13 percent more feature film production than we would have without the program,” Audley said in a statement.
Recent television programs receiving state incentives include “The Orville,” “This is Us,” and “Westworld.” Features receiving the tax credits include “Mainstream” a drama directed by Gia Coppola, a granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola, and “The Little Things,” a crime thriller starring Denzel Washington to be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures in Burbank.