Film and commercial shoots see sharp decline in Los Angeles as post-pandemic production surge recedes


Chris O’Donnell on the set of CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles” in December 2020. (Ron Jaffe/CBS)

Filming on the streets of Los Angeles slowed after can’t wait to get back to production following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The total number of shooting days fell 10.5% to 9,066 between July 1 and September 30 compared to the same period in 2021, according to a new report from FilmLA, the nonprofit group that manages permits. filming for the city and the county.

The most notable declines were seen in feature films and commercials, with activity well below five-year averages, according to the report.

The slowdown comes at the entrance to Hollywood a phase of strong cost reduction, leading to shrinking slates from studios and streaming outlets in film and TV. During the first two years of the pandemic, studios were forced to play catch-up for months as productions shut down and competed fiercely for hot new shows and movies. Today, production volumes are decreasing.

“We are seeing an expected downturn,” FilmLA President Paul Audley said in a statement. “The COVID-19 Delta wave forced an off-season production shift last year. This shift led to record filming levels in the second half of 2021, so in light of that, this is a slight decrease.

The full effects of the downturn may not yet be felt.

“We really feel like it’s too early to be able to attribute the reduction we’re seeing to a reduction in overall production rates, as TV shows and seasons are typically scheduled months in advance,” he said. said FilmLA spokesman Philip Sokolowski.

The group estimates that around a third of all streaming series are filmed in Los Angeles, and it could be six months before the numbers reflect what’s happening in Hollywood.

“We will see an impact if there is any consolidation in this sector, but we believe it is too early to observe it now,” Sokolowski said.

There were 828 feature film shooting days in the quarter, down 25% from the same period last year. Warner Bros.’ “Barbie,” Netflix’s “Beverly Hills Cop” and Universal Pictures’ “Fast X” were among the films shot locally in Los Angeles.

Commercial shoots fell 33% to 1,021 shoot days for the quarter.

With rising production costs due to the pandemic, commercial production is not shrinking but moving to other states where it can benefit from tax incentives.

“There’s not necessarily less product being made, it’s just less product here,” Sokolowski said. “There are new costs associated with production in the age of COVID and any ability to recoup them makes a real difference to them.”

TV shoots were also affected. The TV category was down 10.5% from the same period in 2021, but remained about 5% above the five-year average.

The number of TV series shooting days fell for the first time since the start of the pandemic production resumption in the second quarter of 2021. The TV series activity of local shows like Fox’s “9-1-1” and CBS’ “CSI: Vegas” was down 11.7% year-over-year to 1,198 shooting days in the third quarter of 2022.

A “filming day” is defined as a crew’s permission to film in one or more defined locations for all or part of a given 24-hour period, according to FilmLA.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.


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