On-location filming fell by about 24% in the first quarter, according to numbers released Wednesday by FilmLA.
The Hollywood nonprofit, which coordinates on-location filming in Los Angeles County and other jurisdictions, reported there were 7,476 shoot days from Jan. 1 through March, compared to 9,832 shoot days in the same period of the prior year.
On-location television production, a sustaining force during the recovery from the pandemic, had the largest quarterly decline among the major production categories, falling 35.8% to a total of 2,868 shoot days, FilmLA said in a release.
A shoot day is one crew’s permission to film at one or more locations during a 24-hour period. FilmLA’s data does not include activity on soundstages or studio backlots.
FilmLA President Paul Audley said that over three consecutive quarters, the agency has seen a significant slowdown across all categories of on-location production.
“Particularly in the television world, decisions about future content direction are on hold, pending the outcome of corporate restructuring actions and industry labor negotiations,” Audley said in a statement.
In the television category, only sitcoms showed an increase in on-location production with 324 shoot days, up from 259 shoot days, a 25% bump. TV sitcoms that filmed locally last quarter included “American Auto” airing on NBC, “Young Sheldon” shown on CBS and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” airing on HBO.
Reality show, drama and pilot shoot days all decreased from the first quarter of last year.
Feature films showed a flat number of shoot days compared to a year ago – 595 versus 594 in the first quarter of last year. Local productions included “Unicorn” from Apple Studios and “Fast X” from Universal Pictures.
On-location commercial production also showed a decrease during the quarter, to 899 shoot days or a 23% drop from the same period a year earlier when it recorded 1,160 shoot days. Companies such as Ally Bank, Chevron and Walmart recently filmed spots locally, as did car companies including BMW, Dodge, Ford and Toyota.
The other category which primarily consists of still photography shoots and student films, but also includes music and industrial videos, documentaries and miscellaneous categories of production, posted a decrease of 14% to 3,114 shoot days in the quarter compared to 3,608 shoot days in the first quarter of last year.