Los Angeles Film Production Finally Stabilizes Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

FilmLA announced today that it expects to see production return to pre-pandemic levels within the next 12 months.

After posting three consecutive record-breaking quarters, local filming in the second quarter (“Q2”) of 2022 was down by -5.8% over the same period last year. From April through June, FilmLA recorded a total of 9,220 Shoot Days (SD)* compared to 9,791 in Q2 2021. Local filmmakers achieved an all-time quarterly high of 10,780 SD in Q4 2021, moving on to set a new Q1 record of 9,832 SD earlier this year.

Local production still surpassed pre-pandemic levels; finishing 6.8% ahead of Q2 2019 (with 8,632 SD) and 2.7% ahead of Q2 2018 (with 8,978 SD).

“We expected we would see production return to pre-pandemic levels sometime within the year, and now here we are,” observed FilmLA President Paul Audley. “Resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with industry leaders taking steps to protect both worker and community safety, we have confidence in the film industry’s ability to sustain local production at or above its historic levels.”

Feature film production saw a 9% increase for Q2 with 898 shoot days. The feature production activity was directly tied to the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program, overseen by the California Film Commission.

Among the feature films shooting during the quarter included “Barbie” (Warner Bros.), “Being Mortal” (Searchlight Pictures) an Untitled Jonah Hill Project (Netflix) and the remake of “White Men Can’t Jump” (20th Century Studios).

Despite the increase, the number lies at -16.4% below the category’s five-year average.

Television continues to be a driving force in local production. Though down by -15.8% in Q2 from the prior year, the category generated 4,136 SD for a return still 12.7% above its five-year average.

Episodic television dramas in production last quarter included “Little America” (Apple TV+), “Dead to Me” (Netflix), “Euphoria” (HBO), “Snowfall” (FX) and “Station 19” (ABC).

More than one in five SD (20.7%) in the television category came from projects that qualified for the California Film and Television Tax Credit.

Reality TV continues to generate gains for production in LA, up 6.7%.

Prominent reality TV series that shot locally included “American Idol” (ABC), “Buried in the Back Yard” (Oxygen), “Hip Hop My House “(Paramount+) and “LA Fire and Rescue” (NBC).

In the world of TV comedy, Shoot Days were also up significantly by 61.8% (309 SD vs. 191 SD), though down -20.7% compared to the five-year Q2 average.

Although generally less beneficial from a job creation standpoint, FilmLA’s “Other” production category – which primarily consists of still photography shoots and student films, but also includes music & industrial videos, documentaries, and miscellaneous categories of production – posted a 22.5% Q2 gain year over year (3,076 vs.
2,510 SD), but a slight decline of -4.0% over the five-year average.