It isn’t the golden days of the 1990s, but FilmLA. reports today that feature film production is on the rise in Los Angeles while TV production slipped from last year. A Q1 2014 report released today by the nonprofit permitting group said on-location feature production in LA County jumped 24.2% over Q1 2013 and that the category had a big leap of 39.4% over its five-year quarterly average. Despite the small number of tentpole pics made in California and the lure of hefty incentives in other states like Louisiana and NY as well as Canada and the UK, the latest results build on similar advances in past quarters and shows increasing traction from the all-time lows of 2009.
It is no coincidence that 2009 was also the same year California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program was first introduced. With overall production steady with Q1 2013 and legislation presently moving ahead in Sacramento to expand and evolve the program, FilmLA today praised California’s incentives as helping to stem the tsunami of exiting production. “This quarter’s report hints at what would be possible if California were to truly step up and compete for new film projects and jobs,” said the organization’s President Paul Audley in a statement. “Just imagine where we could be five years from now if current efforts to expand the state’s incentive program are successful.”
With that in mind, the results generated by the state’s incentive program had real muscle among the 13,265 PPD of this quarter. With pics like Warner Bros’ Entourage, Los Altos and the sequel to Horrible Bosses as well as shows like TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles and FX‘s Justified successfully getting a piece of the lottery-distributed tax credit program last year, the state program helped support 25% of the Feature production and 22% of the TV Drama production in L.A. County this quarter. FilmLA’s data comes from filming permits for shooting on streets, non-certified sound stages and in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
Overall, TV Production dipped 9.2% in Q1 2014 compared to Q1 2013 which had seen a 19.0% rise over Q1 2012. Web-based TV took the biggest hit this quarter with 29.7% decline from last year. It was a mixed bag on the higher-budgeted front with TV Drama and Reality categories slipping just 7.9% and 9.1%, respectively, while the Sitcom category fell 18.4% from Q1 2103. After a stellar 37.3% leap in Q1 2013 over Q1 2012, TV Pilots stayed steady this quarter with a mere 1.5% rise from last year. While that may not seem impressive unto itself when compared to the gains of the year before, the vital and indicative category outperformed its 5-year average by strong 16.7%.
With a 2.8% rise from Q1 2013, the Commercials category was even with last year, as did the small categories such as music videos and industrial films.