TV and Tax Incentives Boost Third Quarter Filming in Los Angeles

Dave McNary

TV and tax incentives gave a 3% boost to third-quarter shooting in Greater Los Angeles to a record-setting 9,795 shoot days, according a report from the FilmL.A. permitting agency.

Incentive-qualified TV projects filming in Los Angeles included “American Horror Story,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “I’m Dying Up Here,” “Pitch,” “Scream Queens,” “This is Us” and “Westworld.” Approximately one fourth of all local TV drama and comedy production received tax credits under the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program, which provides up to 25% of production costs in tax credits.

Television production gained 2.7% to 4,423 days, offsetting modest declines in features (down 5% to 1,089) and commercials (down 2.6 % to 1,245). Other categories were up 4.2% to 2.896 days.

TV reality posted a 6.6% gain to 1,342 days after six quarters of declines while short-form web-based TV reached a new quarterly high, jumping 72.2 % to 651 days.

“California’s film incentive is now helping to sustain local TV production after seven straight quarters of growth,” noted FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “We knew we’d see a leveling off as the program reached full utilization. With the program doing all it can to support filming in California, our focus is on the neighborhoods where filming happens and on managing the activity taking place.”

Overall area feature film production declined after three straight quarters of growth. Four films that received tax credits shot in Greater Los Angeles: “CHiPS” (for pickup shots), “Sandy Wexler,” George Clooney’s “Suburbicon” and “The God Particle.”

Overall Los Angeles production gained 11.4% in the first quarter and 5.8% in the second. The report came a year after California’s sweetened tax incentive program went into effect for the next five years following extensive lobbying by the industry and unions focused on the issue of job retention to put the brakes on producers’ flight to incentive-rich locations elsewhere.

FilmL.A. reported in June that California’s status as the top production center in the world remained intact last year as the state was the leading site for major feature films with 19 of the top 109 projects.

“The mixed results we see from last quarter in film production in Los Angeles County remind us of the need to be determined and aggressive in keeping filming here,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.

“Be it film, television, commercials or web-based production, all have an impact on thousands of direct jobs and indirect jobs which support the industry. We must remain competitive, not just for the historical role Los Angeles County has played as the center of the entertainment industry, but for the economic impact production has across our region.”

Courtesy of LA Film
Courtesy of LA Film
Courtesy of LA Film
Courtesy of LA Film
Courtesy of LA Film

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