L.A. Location Filming Lags as Television Trends Reverse

L.A. Location Filming Lags as Television Trends Reverse

LOS ANGELES – October 2, 2012 –

FilmL.A. — the not-for-profit community benefit organization that coordinates permits for filmed entertainment shot on-location in the City of Los Angeles, unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County and other local jurisdictions — today announced that overall on-location production last quarter slipped 3.9 percent compared to the same period last year (10,773 PPD in 2012 vs. 11,210 PPD in 2011)*. Nearly all of the major filming categories tracked by FilmL.A. are in decline.

The Television category ended the quarter down slightly after months of significant upset. The Television category slipped 1.4 percent for the period (4,245 PPD in 2012 vs. 4,304 in 2011), led by steep production declines for TV Drama (down 18.5 percent to 923 PPD) and TV Reality (down 20.5 percent to 1,579 PPD). Production for TV Pilots also suffered (down 45.9 percent to 53 PPD), though the quarter is not usually a strong one for the category.

One of the most interesting developments in Television is the growing contribution TV Sitcoms and TV Webisodes make to category totals. The TV Sitcoms category, which makes up about 11 percent of annual TV production, was up considerably for the third quarter (up 47.6 percent to 608 PPD), owing to the number of single-camera comedy series in production locally.

The relatively new TV Webisodes category, which FilmL.A. has quietly tracked since 2008, now makes up about 9 percent of annual Television production and last quarter saw an unanticipated production surge (up 148.8 percent to 423 PPD).

“The Television landscape is changing in Los Angeles, and economically, the sector has taken a turn for the worse,” said FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “Many of the new TV projects we’re coordinating permits for have low spending and employment impacts. More needs to be done, policy-wise, to help return sought-after TV Drama projects to Los Angeles.”

The California Film & Television Tax Credit Program brought five state-qualified television projects to Los Angeles last quarter. State-qualified projects, including Body of Proof, Bunheads, Help for the Holidays, Major Crimes and Rizzoli and Isles, contributed 47 PPD across various television subcategories, representing 1.1 percent of total TV days logged during the quarter.

On-location Feature production plunged 21.1 percent for the quarter (1,640 PPD in 2012 vs. 2,079 PPD in 2011). The California Film & Television Tax Credit Program brought just a few new projects to L.A. this July through September, likely because fewer feature projects qualified for state credits this year vs. the year prior. State- qualified Feature projects generated 100 PPD for the region, representing 6.1 percent of the quarterly total. Projects filming locally included Jesus in Cowboy Boots, Plush and The Hive.

“We expect to see more state-qualified projects pull permits to film in L.A.,” Audley noted. “We applaud the recent two-year extension of California’s film incentive program, and support expanding the program to stop the production outflow and attract a more diverse slate of high-value productions.”

Production in the Commercials category decreased 5.3 percent for the quarter (1,635 PPD in 2012 vs. 1,726 PPD in 2011), ending a year-long winning streak. Commercial production remains up 10.4 percent for the year.

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