FilmLA Reports October Monthly Applications +24%, But Feature Film Production Still Low

Downtown Los Angeles at dusk Mega Agency

FilmLA reports that monthly film permit applications saw a 23.7% surge in October to 880 permits over September’s 711 permits.

Since film and TV productions commenced during the pandemic in June on-location, FilmLA has received roughly 2,565 film permit applications spanning 1,967 unique projects over the last 20 weeks.


FilmLA’s daily intake now averages around 40 new applications per business day. “Overall, activity levels have stabilized at just under 47 percent of what analysts would expect under normal filming conditions,” reads the org’s recent release, with “the average rate of business growth slowing somewhat.”

Across weeks 17-20 new application intake grew 4.8%; in weeks 13-16 it grew 10%.

The org reports that the advertising sector of still photography and commercials remains the most notable with a 44% share of local permit requests. TV production is next at 25%. “The expected October pick-up in scripted television production did occur; local Reality TV production (6 percent of requests) was eclipsed by TV Drama production (10 percent of requests) for the first time since June,” says FilmLA.

However, feature film production only reps 4% of permit activity. Those movies include  MGM’s Paul Thomas Anderson directed ’70s movie Soggy Bottom, Warner Bros.’ Will Smith movie King Richard and Dog starring Channing Tatum.

“As Los Angeles welcomes more episodic series and feature films back to production, we are grateful to local producers, crew and vendors for their adherence to safe filming practices,” observed FilmLA President Paul Audley. “To push past our current production plateau with full community support, we need to continue to focus on keeping our workplaces safe.”

Those broadcast and cable dramas and sitcoms shooting in the month of October include NCIS LA (CBS), The Rookie (ABC), Mayans MC (FX), Animal Kingdom (TNT), and Shameless (Showtime). Selected streaming series include Dear White People (Netflix), Big Shot (Disney+), Made for Love (HBO Max) and Rutherford Falls (Peacock). Reality TV and game shows that filmed in October include American Idol (ABC), Dancing with the Stars (ABC), Shahs of Sunset (Bravo!), Selena + Chef (HBO Max), House Hunters (HGTV),and Lucky Dog (CBS).

Commercials shot locally include those for Instagram, Uber, Subaru, Citibank, Starbucks, Kohls, JC Penney, and Walmart. Also PSA commercials for the campaigns Vote Safe California and Get Out the Vote 2020.

FilmLA data does not include production that occurs on certified sound stages or on-location in jurisdictions not served by the agency.

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