The latest FilmLA survey puts some numbers on the losses Hollywood’s suffered from the proliferation of tax incentives in other states and countries in the past two decades. Although feature production has bounced back from 2009’s all-time low thanks to that year’s introduction of the CA Film & TV Tax Credit, only two $100M+ productions of 2013 were filmed in L.A. with California-based films accounting for just 9% of all feature production. Year over year local feature production was up 19% in 2013 from 2012 – still just half as robust as it was in 1996. On the small screen side, local TV drama production recovered slightly from its worst-ever 2012 showing, up 16% but still 39% below its peak in 2008, while sitcom production increased by 8% over 2012. Thanks to original programming pushes by companies like Netflix and Amazon, TV pilot production hit a record high although L.A. filming accounted for just 52%, compared to 82% in 2008. And while “higher-value” film and TV filming has grown 2% over the last 6 years, “lower-value” programming dominated by reality TV production has grown faster, increasing by 16% in that frame. Meanwhile, there was a silver lining for new media producers: web-based TV production grew 6% over 2012, a 49% growth over the 5-year rolling average, while the web commercials biz doubled in size in 2013.
This retrospective by the non-profit permitting group comes as moves to increase the current $100 million state film/TV tax incentive program are emerging in Sacramento. As well, a civic plan to increase production in L.A. itself by the city’s Film Czar Tom Sherak is expected to be unveiled in the next few weeks, sources tell Deadline. The former Academy president was appointed to the newly created post by SAG-AFTRA card carrying Mayor Eric Garcetti soon after his election last summer.
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