Los Angeles Business Journal

L.A. Sees Drop in Filming Activity

By Jonathan Polakoff Tuesday, April 3, 2012

On-location production days fell 2.1 percent in parts of Los Angeles during the first quarter of 2012, due to a large decrease in locally shot television, FilmL.A. Inc. announced Tuesday.

The 9 percent drop in permitted TV production days offset gains made in local feature film and commercial shoots, which increased 16 percent and 11, respectively. Other productions, such as music videos, were down 4.7 percent.

The steepest declines came in TV dramas, reality TV and pilot TV projects, which all saw double-digit decreases. One reason behind the decrease was last year’s exodus of TV drama pilots to other states offering richer incentives.

In all, there were 1,019 permitted production days for feature films during the quarter, and 4,277 for TV. FilmL.A., the non-profit that tracks production permitting, said the $100 million California Film & Television Tax Credit Program helped retain some local production, but added that more should be done.

“At a time when other jurisdictions – notably New York – are using generous film incentives to set TV production records, California is losing ground as the pilot and series production location of choice,” Paul Audley, Film L.A. president, said in a statement. “Sacramento’s lax response to this threat to local jobs is dismaying.”

FilmL.A. bases its data on permitted production days in the city of Los Angeles, unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County and other jurisdictions. The data does not include work at studio soundstages.