On-location TV production is booming in Los Angeles, thanks in part to California’s $330 million annual film incentives program. “Approximately one fourth of all local (on-location) TV drama and TV comedy production is incentive-driven,” FilmL.A. said in its latest quarterly report released today. Even so, three-fourths of TV comedies and dramas shot on location here from July through September were filmed without incentives at all.
Incentives played an even smaller role for feature films shot on location in L.A. during the third quarter, accounting for just 8.6% of all on-location feature filming — 94 shooting days out of a total of 1,089. That means that 91.4% of on-location feature film shooting days in the quarter were done here without incentives.
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In the third quarter, on-location TV production continued to far outpace on-location feature filming by a margin of 4-to-1 — 4,423 days of TV shooting compared to only 1,089 days of feature film shooting.
On-location TV production increased 2.7% in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the third quarter last year, and on average showed a 19% increase compared with the past five Q3s.
“California’s film incentive is now helping to sustain local TV production after seven straight quarters of growth,” FilmL.A. president Paul Audley said. “We knew we’d see a leveling off as the program reached full utilization. With the program doing all it can to support filming in California, our focus is on the neighborhoods where filming happens and on managing the activity taking place.”
After three consecutive quarters of growth, on-location feature filming saw a 5% decrease in shooting days in the third quarter of this year compared to the third quarter last year, and on average, an 11.5% decrease in the third-quarters over the past five years. Year-to-date, the category is still slightly ahead of where it was at this time in 2015.
Reality and web-based TV powered last quarter’s growth, with reality TV posting its first increase — up 6.6% to 1,342 shooting days — in six quarters. Short-form web-based TV reached a new quarterly high – up 72.2% to 651 shooting days. Commercials saw a 2.6% decline, while “other” production – including documentaries, student films, and music videos – saw a 4.2% increase.
In the third quarter, “other” production outpaced the number of feature film shooting days by a factor or almost 3-to-1.
“The mixed results we see from last quarter in film production in Los Angeles County remind us of the need to be determined and aggressive in keeping filming here,” said LA County Supervisor Don Knabe. “Be it film, television, commercials or web-based production, all have an impact on thousands of direct jobs and indirect jobs which support the industry. We must remain competitive, not just for the historical role Los Angeles County has played as the center of the entertainment industry, but for the economic impact production has across our region.”
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