On-location film and television production increased by 1.3 percent last year in Los Angeles County, with scripted TV series as the leading category, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A.
The region continues to see heavy filming activity spurred by the California Film & Television Tax Credit, according to the Hollywood nonprofit group that handles film permits in the city and unincorporated county.
In 2015, filming activity took place over 37,289 shoot days as compared with 36,807 shoot days a year earlier. A shoot day is one crew’s permission to film at one or more locations during a 24‐hour period.
The statistics track on-location filming of television series, feature films, commercials, web videos, music videos and student projects – but not work on studio lots or soundstages.
On-location television production represented the growth sector last year. Shows produced for networks, cable and online accounted for 15,706 shoot days in 2015, compared with 14,349 shoot days in 2014.
In the subcategories, dramas and sitcoms were the drivers of filming activity. Dramas saw a 19.3 percent increase in shoot days during 2015 to 4,374 from the 3,666 shoot days a year earlier. Sitcoms increased by 100 percent to 2,268 shoot days in 2015 from 1,131 from a year earlier.
“Television’s importance to greater Los Angeles can’t be overstated,” noted FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “Scripted television provides long-term job opportunities and high economic value, so these increases should be celebrated.”
Feature film production continued a decline as big-budget features accounted for 4,344 shoot days, a decrease of 4.2 percent from the 4,535 shoot days in 2014.
The aid of the state’s film tax credit program was primarily seen in television. The financial assistance offered to TV series was responsible for such dramas as “American Horror Story” and “Mistresses” and the cable sitcom “Veep” relocating to the Los Angeles area from out of state.
Dramas receiving tax credits made up 887 shoot days in that category, or about 20 percent. Incentivized feature films shooting during the fourth quarter accounted for 101 shoot days, or about 9.4 percent of the total shoot days in that category.
Commercial filming all of last year remained nearly flat with 5,201 shoot days compared with 5,192 shoot days in 2014.