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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Television Sole Bright Spot in Area Filming

By Mark R. Madler

Posted date: 4/14/2009

Television made up more than half of the on-location filming in the City and County of Los Angeles in the first quarter, according to recent figures released by FilmLA.

Feature film production, however, took a steep dive dropping by more than 50 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008.

“Most big budget feature films are not shot locally, and even independent filmmakers are shooting fewer days in our area,” said FilmLA President Paul Adley.

FilmLA is a not for profit agency that coordinates on-location film, television and commercial production in the city and county of Los Angeles, the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster, and certain non-municipal clients including the Burbank school district. The agency’s production numbers do not include filming on studio soundstages.Overall on-location for January through March stayed flat when compared to a year ago, with 11,431 permits issued. 

The agency issued 6,274 permits for television production, an increase of 76 percent from the 3,557 permits issued in the same period in 2008. Television production had been down in early 2008 due to the Hollywood writer strike.Reality programming continues to lead the television sub-categories, with 3,407 permits issued in the first quarter.FilmLA issued only 903 on-location permits for feature film production. In the first quarter of 2008, more than 2,000 permits had been issued.

Commercial filming also declined, an indicator that advertising is down due to the poor economy. FilmLA issued 1,266 on-location permits, a drop of 34 percent from the 1,925 issued in the first quarter of 2008.


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