Los Angeles Business Journal

On-Location Filming Stays Steady in L.A.

By Business Journal Staff Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On-location production remained flat in the first quarter despite evidence that the state’s tax credit program is keeping more production in the Los Angeles region.

Local production days were down less than 1 percent to 13,265, according to FilmL.A., a Hollywood non-profit that handles production permitting in the city, unincorporated neighborhoods and other local jurisdictions.

Local production includes on-location filming of television series, feature films, commercials, television webisodes and student projects. The numbers do not include work on studio lots or soundstages.

Feature film production days increased 24.2 percent to 1,588 in the first quarter. However, television production was down 9.2 percent to 4,624 production days, FilmL.A. reported.

About 25 percent of on-location feature film production was for projects receiving tax credits from the state, including “Entourage: The Movie,” “Horrible Bosses 2,” “Night Crawler,” and “The Zone.” Twenty-two percent of television drama production was for shows receiving the tax credits.

The decline in television production would have been steeper if not for the series receiving the tax credits, including, “Franklin & Bash,” “Justified,” and “Pretty Little Liars,” FilmL.A. said.

The state’s production tax credit program began in 2009 as a response to television and feature films leaving California for other states and taking associated production jobs. The program is administered by the California Film Commission and funded for $100 million a year through the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

A pending Assembly bill would make changes to the incentive program, including lifting the $75 million budget cap for eligible films; raising the total incentives above the $100 million limit; starting a 20-percent break for digital visual effects and animation expenditures; and discontinuing incentives for television shows relocating to California in favor of incentives for new shows.

“Just imagine where we could be five years from now if current efforts to expand the state’s incentive program are successful,” said FilmL.A. President Paul Audley.