On-location filming for feature films and television increased in the first quarter, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A., showing the continuing influence of the state’s production tax credit program.
In the first quarter, filming activity in Los Angeles took place over 9,703 shoot days, up more than 11 percent from the same period a year earlier. A shoot day is one crew’s permission to film at one or more locations during a 24‐hour period.
The statistics track on-location filming of television series, feature films, commercials, web videos, music videos and student projects – but not work on studio lots or soundstages.
On-location feature film activity increased by 24 percent to 1,145 shoot days in the first quarter. Four films receiving tax credits accounted for 155 of those days.
“We predicted we’d see a boost in feature production in the first quarter thanks to the state tax credit, and we’re glad to see that happening,” FilmL.A. President Paul Audley said in a prepared statement.
The California Film and Television Tax Credit program was expanded last year from $100 million to $330 million annually. There were also changes to the program on the types of projects eligible for the credits.
Overall television production increased by 19 percent. Shows produced for networks, cable and online accounted for 3,944 shoot days in the first quarter, compared with 3,312 shoot days in the same period a year earlier.
Four subcategories in television increased shoot days during the first quarter – sitcoms, dramas, pilots and web-based programs. Reality programming decreased during the quarter by 7.5 percent, to 1,152 shoot days.
More than 350 shoot days were from programs receiving tax credits, including “Twin Peaks,” “Veep,” “Westworld” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”
“(First quarter numbers) illustrate that the Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0 is working precisely as intended to attract and retain all types of productions, especially TV projects that create steady long-term jobs for cast and crew,” said Amy Lemisch, executive director of the California Film Commission, the agency that administers the tax credits, in a prepared statement.
On-location commercial filming increased by 6.1 percent, to 1,523 shoot days, an improvement over the category’s flat performance in 2015. Commercials are the second largest driver of on-location filming, after television, according to FilmL.A.