On-location filming got off to a strong start in the new year, according to figures released Tuesday by FilmLA.
The Hollywood nonprofit that coordinates on-location filming permits for L.A. County and other jurisdictions reported a total of 9,832 shoot days for the period from January through March, a 40 percent increase from the 7,011 shoot days in the same period a year earlier.
The number of shoot days represents a record for the first quarter.
“The last time FilmLA reported such high filming levels from January through March was in 2016, with 9,725 (shoot days),” the agency said in a release.
FilmLA President Paul Audley said that the potential for another Covid-related cutback had the agency eyeing the first quarter with concern.
“But with strong protective protocols in place, the industry was in a good position to weather the post-holiday Omicron surge,” Audley said in a statement.
Television led the way in the first quarter.
The four television categories – dramas, sitcoms, reality and pilots – combined for a total of 4,470 shoot days, a 19 percent increase from the 3,766 shoot days in the same period a year ago.
Reality television had the biggest increase, followed by sitcoms. Shoot days for TV dramas and pilots decreased in the first quarter.
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 filming on soundstages or studio backlots.
Commercial on-location production increased by 17 percent to 1,160 shoot days as compared to 993 in the first quarter of last year.
Feature film production increased only slightly by 3 percent to 594 shoot days from the 575 shoot days in the same period a year earlier.
“Although generally less beneficial from a job creation standpoint, FilmLA’s ‘Other’ production 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 115 percent gain year over year (3,608 vs. 1,677 (shoot days)),” FilmLA said in its release.