Los Angeles Business Journal

Commercials Boosted L.A.'s Film Industry Last Year

By Jonathan Polakoff Tuesday, January 3, 2012

On-location filming in Los Angeles dropped 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter, but still managed a 4.4 percent increase for the year, FilmL.A. Inc. announced Tuesday.

The annual increase was partially driven by commercial production, which rose 4.4 percent last year to a record 7,079 permitted production days, according to the Los Angeles nonprofit, which handles and tracks permitting in the city and unincorporated county neighborhoods.

Other categories of filming did not do as well.

Television, long considered the mainstay of local on-location shooting, dropped 10.6 percent in the fourth quarter and 2.7 percent for the year. The decline was partially attributed to 10 one-hour TV dramas that shot in other states, most notably New York, which offers generous production subsidies.

Features plummeted 26.4 percent in the fourth quarter but posted an increase of 5.7 percent for the year. FilmL.A. credited the modest annual growth to the extension of the state’s $100 million in production incentives.

Smaller projects, such as student films, grew 12.6 percent for the year.

Despite the overall growth in production days last year, FilmL.A. President Paul Audley stressed that more should be done to promote local filming.

“We must fight to keep and attract more feature films and high value television series to keep our vendor companies and crews working and our region’s economy afloat,” he said, in the report.