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.
“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.