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A Record First Quarter for Location Filming

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.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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