Film Production in LA Declines Slightly as Pandemic Subsides

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – On-location filming in the greater Los Angeles area declined slightly after record-breaking filming levels in the latter half of last year, according to a report released Wednesday by FilmLA.

The dip in production between July 1 through Sept. 30 was down 10.5% from the same period last year and also down 1.7% from the previous quarter this year. FilmLA reported 9,066 shoot days in the third quarter of 2022, which was down from the previous quarter this year (9,220).

“We’re seeing an expected slowdown taking shape,” Paul Audley, the president of FilmLA, said in a statement. “To that point we note that the COVID-19 Delta wave forced an out of season production shift last year. That shift led to record-breaking filming levels in the latter half of 2021, so in light of that, this is a modest decline.”

Among the major categories of production, feature film and production of commercials declined, both year-over-year and compared to the five-year averages. Activity in television and other categories was more mixed, according to the nonprofit FilmLA, which acts as the city and county film office.

Feature film production ended the quarter with 828 shoot days, compared to 1,100 in the third quarter last year. Local productions included “Barbie” (Warner Bros.), “Beverly Hills Cop” (Netflix), “Destroy All Neighbors” (Shudder), “Fast X” (Universal Pictures) and “Young. Wild. Free.” (Confluential Films), according to FilmLA.

A total of 115 shoot days — 13.9% of the category’s total — were generated by projects that received the California Film & Television Tax Credit, which is overseen by the California Film Commission.

Production of commercials in the region continued to decline with a total of 1,021 shoot days this quarter, compared to 1,533 last year. Commercials that shot in the region include spots for Kohl’s, Peloton, Southwest Airlines and Walmart. Many car companies also filmed new spots locally, including Hyundai, Maserati, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen, the report said.

The television category was down by 10.5% compared to the same period in 2021, but remained 4.7% above the five-year average. For the first time since the pandemic recovery began in the second quarter of last year, TV drama activity declined by 11.7% year over year (1,198 shoot days in the third quarter of 2022 vs.1,356 for the same period last year) and 5.5% compared to the five-year average, according to FilmLA.

Local TV dramas include “9-1-1” (Fox), “American Gigolo” (Showtime), “Barry” (HBO), “Bel-Air” (Peacock), “Bosch Legacy” (Amazon), “CSI: Vegas” (CBS), “For All Mankind” (Apple TV+), “Snowfall” (FX) and “The Rookie” (ABC). TV dramas that were recipients of the CA film tax credit generated a total of 161 shoot days — 13.4% of the total.

TV comedies (352 shoot days) posted a stronger performance with an increase of 4.1% year over year. The category is still down by 36.9% compared to the five-year average. Local sitcoms included “Abbott Elementary” (ABC), “Home Economics” (ABC), “Grand Crew” (NBC) and “Young Sheldon” (CBS).

According to the report, reality TV production, which has been robust throughout the recovery, was flat compared to last year (2,824 shoot days in third quarter 2022 vs. 2,825 shoot days last year) but still up 90.5% compared to the five-year average. Reality TV series included “Black Ink Crew: Compton” (VH1), “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC), “Growing Up Hip Hop” (WeTV), “Million Dollar Listing” (Bravo), “Selling Sunset” (Netfiix) and “The Voice” (NBC).

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