Location shooting competition tougher

first_imgLocation shooting for television, movies and commercials in Los Angeles saw momentum slow to just a 4 percent increase in 2005 after enjoying a nearly 20 percent growth spurt a year earlier, according to a year-end report to be released today by FilmL.A. Inc. The slowdown in growth is an indication that production is being lost to other states and countries, FilmL.A. President Steve MacDonald said. While Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom were once the biggest threats of so-called “runaway production,” Los Angeles must now compete with 20 other states offering economic incentives and other perks to lure production crews, he said. “A 4 percent annual rise in production should not be interpreted as a sign of L.A.’s competitive success,” MacDonald said. “Other jurisdictions, such as New York City, are celebrating dramatic growth in production activity thanks to very aggressive incentive programs. We’re concerned L.A. isn’t capturing its share.” FilmL.A., formerly the Entertainment Industry Development Corp., handles the permitting process for location shooting and tracks local production activity year-round. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Its year-end figures show that the number of location production days in 2005 totaled 54,876, an increase of just 2,168 over 2004. Of that total, feature-film production recorded 9,518 days, just 811 days over 2004 and well below Los Angeles’ 1996 peak of 13,980 days. Since that peak, film production has suffered through a seven-year decline that was finally halted last year. While this year’s figures did not represent a year-to-year drop, they do indicate California is losing ground. “The reality is that runaway production to other states is starting to bite,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. For the second year, television remained ahead of feature films as the primary driver of production in the region. While the television pilot season was a particularly busy time and reality television shows helped keep television activity robust, this did not add up to much growth, with production days for television shows totaling 18,740 in 2005, only 483 days more than in 2004. “Reality TV continues to make up a significant portion, about 30 percent, of all on-location television production in L.A.,” MacDonald said. “These shows have budgets that are generally smaller than those of scripted programs, so they employ fewer production resources; whether it’s talent, crews, sets or locations. The end result is a lower economic impact.” Commercials, which plummeted in 2000, continued a steady recovery by increasing 280 production days in 2005 for a total of 6,983 days. Efforts to pass proposed state legislation that would give tax credits to companies that film primarily in California have so far stalled, despite having former movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor. It’s been an uphill fight in Sacramento because of a perception by some that the film industry is a lucrative business that doesn’t need any breaks, Kyser said. “People in Sacramento think it’s welfare for corporations,” he said. “But we better do something.” The FilmL.A. figures represent the number of permitted days of location production in the city of Los Angeles, Diamond Bar and West Hollywood, unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, the Angeles National Forest and more than 800 facilities operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District. Permits handled by FilmL.A. account for more than 80 percent of location shooting in Los Angeles County. Greg Hernandez, (818) 713-3758 [email protected]! 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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