On-location filming decreased by 19.5% in the fourth quarter, according to figures released Wednesday by FilmLA.
The Hollywood nonprofit, which coordinates on-location filming in Los Angeles County and other jurisdictions, reported there were 8,674 shoot days from Oct. 1 through December, compared to 10,780 shoot days in the same period of the prior year.
For the full year, on-location filming dropped by 2.4%, with 36,792 shoot days recorded across all categories by the end of last year. That compares to 37,709 shoot days in 2021.
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 the return of pre-pandemic filming level brings the industry to roughly where it was in 2019, which was itself a year of significant production decline.
“Can we hold here, or will the pre-COVID downtrend resume? That is the question everyone is asking,” Audley said in a statement.
In the television category, typically the bright spot in FilmLA’s quarterly announcements, only reality programming turned in a positive result. That sub-category reported ending the year with 10,049 shoot days, a 5.2% increase from 2021 with 9,551 shoot days.
Television dramas saw a -17.5% change year over year with 4,627 shoot days versus 5,610 shoot days, while sitcoms ended the year with 1,273 shoot days, or -2.2% below 2021, which recorded1,302 shoot days.
Commercial production was the hardest hit of the categories tracked by FilmLA. On-location production posted a -33.7% decline in the fourth quarter alone, with 828 shoot days. Commercials finished the year -22.6% below 2021 with 4,119 shoot days versus 5,319 shoot days in 2021.