Los Angeles Business Journal

Local Location Filming Gets a Boost

By Greg Hernandez Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A spike in student films, music videos and other small projects boosted location shooting in Los Angeles by 4.7 percent for the first quarter of this year, FilmLA Inc. announced Tuesday.

The small-project spike came in contrast to declines in feature shooting and TV production.

Feature film production declined by 5.3 percent compared with the previous year, while a decrease in reality shows and television drama activity led to television production dropping by 3.7 percent during the quarter. Sitcoms soared by 77 percent thanks to single-camera cable shows such as “Californication” and “United States of Tara” which are heavily filmed on location.

Commercial production rose by 2.4 percent during the quarter but appears to be slowing from an 18-month surge that had returned it to a pre-recession level of activity.

The 22 percent jump in the smaller projects like industrial and student films offset the decline in film and TV production, allowing FilmL.A. to report overall productions gains for the fifth consecutive quarter.

FilmL.A. bases the percentage changes on the number of permitted location days for the quarter. The activity doesn’t take studio production into account.