Los Angeles Business Journal

Location Filming Rose Last Year

By Jonathan Polakoff Originally published January 14, 2014 at 2:40 p.m., updated January 14, 2014 at noon

More TV shows, movies and digital videos were filmed on location in Los Angeles last year than in 2012, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A. But the long-term trends aren’t as encouraging.

Location feature film production days increased 19 percent last year to 6,972 days. Location television production increased 11 percent last year to 18,590 days. Location commercial shoots were also up 5 percent last year to 8,453 days – an all-time high.

But local production is still down severely from peak times. Location feature film production is down 50 percent from peak levels in 1996, and location TV production is down 38 percent from its peak in 2008, according to FilmL.A., the downtown Los Angeles non-profit that processes permits for filming in the city of Los Angeles and other parts of Los Angeles County.

That’s due in part to tax credits offered by other states and countries that have lured projects away from California, which offers $100 million a year in production subsidies. Another concern is that high-value projects such as big budget movies and one-hour TV dramas are fleeing, while Los Angeles is keeping lower-value projects such as reality TV shows that typically don’t contribute as much to the local economy.

Paul Audley, president of FilmL.A., said the report is intended to demonstrate the long-term decline of local production in Los Angeles.

“We hope that this report illuminates some of the challenges the region faces, and makes plain the areas where help is needed to better attract and retain film production in Los Angeles,” he said in a statement.