EIDC upbeat on L.A. County shoots

August figures the highest for year

HOLLYWOOD — It was business as usual Monday at the Entertainment Industry Development Corp. despite last week’s raid on its Hollywood offices by local law enforcement.

EIDC officials released August figures for Los Angeles County showing the year’s highest total of off-lot activity, 2,640 permitted days, and issued a sunny forecast for the rest of the year.

“We’ve been extremely busy in both features and TV and we expect that level of activity should continue for the rest of the year,” said EIDC VP Morrie Goldman. “We have put a lot of work into keeping production in Los Angeles and it’s paying off.”

No charges have been filed in connection with the raid, triggered by a criminal investigation into alleged misuse of public funds. The EIDC contends that it is not a public agency, instead serving as a go-between entity to smooth out the permitting process and keep production from leaving the region to less-expensive sites.

Feature film activity showed 748 permitted days for August, slightly more than double the deeply depressed total of 369 in August 2001. Last month’s total was the second highest of 2002 and 7% above July’s total.

Production slide

Local feature production activity plunged in the second half of 2001 after spiking during the first half over fears that actors and writers would strike. August’s activity boosted the 2002 total to 4,965 days, 36% from the first eight months of 2001, when activity in every month exceeded 1,000 days during the period from January to June.

Off-lot activity for TV was busy in August with 1,267 days, the third-highest total of the year and 32% ahead of the July 2001 figure.

Commercials activity remained depressed at 490 days for August, well below the peak of 810 days it reached in January 2001. Shoots for advertising production have generally been in the range of 400-600 days per month since then.

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