California’s lack of strong tax incentives is killing TV production in Los Angeles said FilmL.A. today. “For many years, we’ve relied on Television to backfill the hole left by the flight of feature film production from the L.A. region. Television has been our bread and butter, but with Sacramento’s inaction to stem our losses, other states and countries are eating off our plate,” claims the non-profit permitting group’s president Paul Audley. The statement came as the organization released a mixed second quarter report Tuesday. It also comes less than a week after the $100 million annual state incentive inched its way towards a two year extension in the Legislature. Off lot television production days in Los Angeles were down 15.4% this quarter, FilmL.A found. Last quarter the drop was 9%. The biggest drop was among Drama, which was down 39.2% from last year to 581 days, and Reality, which fell 16.8% from the same quarter last year to 1,461 days. At the same time the organization also says that production for Sitcoms was up 35.6% and TV pilots were up 36.8% to 253 days. The latter in no small part thanks to a late start to pilot season this year. Features were also actually up 9.1% for the quarter and commercials were up an impressive 28.1%. Of course, as indicative as those numbers appear, they have to be put into context. FilmL.A. does not …
Location filming in Los Angeles was down 15% last week compared with the same time last year, the Los Angeles Times reported. FilmLA attributed the biggest chunk in the drop to a 44% decline in feature film production. Commercial shoots were down 11% and TV production shot on location was down 7%. Data is based on filming permits for shooting on streets, non-certified sound stages and in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
On-location filming in Los Angeles increased by 15.4% year-over-year during the third quarter, helped in part by eight feature film shoots in the region that were supported by the California Film & Television Tax Credit. The films — which include Warner Bros’ Ben Affleck-directed Argo and period L.A. mob pic Gangster Squad, as well as Screen Gems’ Steve Harvey book adaptation Think Like A Man — certainly help the industry’s case when it comes to touting the value of the state tax credit, an annual $100 million program that recently was renewed for one year rather than a hoped-for five years after it was hacked back by the state Senate in committee. Overall, since its 2009 launch the program has brought $3.8B in economic output and supported 20,040 jobs — and elevates quarterly on-location production numbers like the ones released today by FilmL.A.
Also during the third quarter, non-tax-credit films like Oliver Stone’s Savages contributed to the feature production uptick — the sector grew 49.9% compared with last year. TV production grew 5.8% in the quarter but wasn’t helped by a slide in drama as Los Angeles lost 10 one-hour series this season. “Unfortunately, our summer prediction of diminished third quarter TV drama production was spot-on,” FilmL.A. president Paul Audley said. “While the California state incentive brought six television dramas to Los Angeles this quarter, we’ve seen other jurisdictions capture an unusually high number of these economically beneficial projects.”