On-location filming in Los Angeles grew 1.3% in 2015 compared with the year before thanks to a surge in TV production. The gains, reported today by FilmLA, the city’s film office, comes in a year that saw the implementation of a new $330 million tax-incentives program aimed at luring production back to the state.
Despite the overall gains, on-location feature film production was actually down 4.2%, and on-location filming of TV pilots was down 13.9%. On-location television production grew by 9.5%, even though reality TV, which isn’t covered by the tax incentives, fell by 8%. TV dramas increased 19.3% to 4,374 shooting days, which is about the same number of days feature films shot on-location in the city last year. On-location filming of TV sitcoms doubled last year to 2,268 shooting days, although most sitcoms film on sound stages, which aren’t included in FilmLA’s annual reports.
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“Television’s importance to Greater Los Angeles can’t be overstated,” said FilmLA president Paul Audley. “Scripted television provides long-term job opportunities and high economic value, so these increases should be celebrated.”
FilmLA noted that incentive-qualified television projects generated 7.2% of all on-location TV production in the city last year, including 20.3% of all TV dramas; 8.4% of all TV sitcoms, and 8.3% of all TV pilots.
Commercial production, meanwhile, remained flat, posting a negligible 0.2% gain last year to 5,201 shooting days. Commercials, which aren’t covered by the tax incentives, rack up more on-location shooting days than feature films for the fourth year in a row, though films generally employ many more people. On-location web-based TV production increased 28.3% to 1,449 shooting days.
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