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Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

On-Location Filming Outpaces Pre-Pandemic Levels

On-location filming in the second quarter outpaced pre-pandemic years, according to figures released Wednesday by FilmLA.

The Hollywood non-profit that coordinates on-location filming in Los Angeles and other jurisdictions reported there were 9,220 shoot days from April through June compared to 9,791 shoot days in the same period of the prior year.

The second quarter finished ahead of 2018 by 2.7% (9,220 shoot days versus 8,978 shoot days) and ahead of 2019 by 6.7% (9,220 compared to 8,632 shoot days).

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.

“Resilient in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, and with industry leaders taking steps to protect both worker and community safety, we have confidence in the film industry’s ability to sustain local production at or above its historic levels,” FilmLA President Paul Audley said in a statement.

Television was again the bright spot for the industry, despite coming in 16% lower in shoot days when compared with the second quarter of last year. Reality TV and sitcoms posted positive shoot days numbers for the quarter, with the former coming in at 7% higher than the previous year (2,611 shoot days versus 2,447 shoot days) and the latter reporting a 62% increase (309 shoot days compared to 191 shoot days).

Prominent reality TV series that shot locally included ABC’s “American Idol”, Oxygen’s “Buried in the Back Yard” and NBC’s “LA Fire and Rescue.” Local single-camera sitcoms in production included “Barry” from HBO and “Chad” from TBS.

Feature films also posted an increase of on-location shoot days for the quarter with 898 compared to 824 in the same period a year earlier.

Some of the larger feature film productions shooting locally during the quarter included “Barbie” from Warner Bros., “Being Mortal” from Searchlight Pictures and the remake of “White Men Can’t Jump” from 20th Century Studios.

Commercial filming was down on-location during the quarter by 28% when compared to the previous year.

While not as job-generating as the film and television categories, 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 23% gain year over year (3,076 vs. 2,510 shoot days).

Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk is a managing editor at the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She previously covered real estate for the Los Angeles Business Journal. She has done work with publications including The Orange County Register, The Real Deal and doityourself.com.

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