On-location filming in Los Angeles is on the rise, with the city enjoying the fifth consecutive year of growth in the area. This is good news for those who live in California who work in the television and film industry without ever appearing on the screen.

Increasing Filmmaking in Los Angeles

According to the nonprofit film office FilmL.A., Los Angeles continues to grow in terms of on-location filmmaking taking place in the city. In 2015, shoot days in Los Angeles increased by 1.3 percent to 37,289. This figure represents the most the city has experienced in half a decade. These increases can at least be partially attributed to the state’s expanded film tax credit, which supported seven percent of local on-location television production last year for a total of 1,130 shoot days. Incentive-backed projects comprised 887 shoot days, or 20 percent, of television dramas while incentives backed 190 days of sitcoms and 53 days of pilots. For both of the latter categories, incentives backed 8 percent of shoot days.

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Leaning Heavily on Television

While most people think of Los Angeles and Hollywood when it comes to making movies, the filming of television shows has dominated the city’s on-location filming industry. Overall, television increased 9.5 percent to 15,706 shoot days. Within this category, dramas grew 19 percent to 4,374 while sitcoms increased by more than 100 percent to 2,268. Web-based television also saw growth with an increase of 28 percent to reach 1,449 shoot days. Reality television, on the other hand, did not do as well with an 8 percent decrease to 5,088 shoot days. Similarly, pilots saw a drop in shoot days, falling 14 percent to 638.

With television being responsible for such a large number of shoot days, it is easy to see that television has a significant impact on the Los Angeles economy. Furthermore, scripted television provides many long-term employment opportunities to the area.

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Dropping Feature Film Production

While television saw an increase in on-location shoot days, film production actually fell in 2015. Overall, the category fell by 4 percent to 4,344 shoot days. As the new state incentives kicked-in for the fourth quarter, however, the film category saw an increase in production. Films such as “CHiPs,” “Rebirth,” “The Disaster Artist,” “The Conjuring 2” and “The Sentence” were all filmed during the fourth quarter. Collectively, they logged 101 shoot days, representing 9 percent of total feature production for the quarter.

Overall, these figures seem to show that the California film tax credit has been creating positive results within the industry. Not only are actors and filmmakers making money, but filming on-location in California helps to keep jobs in the area for those who serve food for the crew, run cables, build sets and otherwise do the behind-the-scenes work that go into creating the magic of television and movies.

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(all data current as of 10/19/2017)

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