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Inside Move: Runaway reins

War fears foster more production at home

The war in Iraq may still be under way, but Hollywood’s battle against runaway production looks to have found a bit of relief thanks, in part, to the conflict.

“The war makes people not want to travel if they can avoid it,” says Darryl Seif, VP of the Los Angeles-based Entertainment Industry Development Corp. “And once they shoot here, we believe they’ll do it again.”

Feature activity in Los Angeles has been strong during the first half of April after a lukewarm March; TV has been been steady after a robust pilot season; and commercials have recovered from a two-year slump.

“A lot of producers decided it would be a lot easier to shoot TV pilots here, and we’re also seeing a lot of original cable programming,” says the EIDC’s Kathleen Milnes.

Steve Dayan, business agent for Teamsters Local 399 repping location scouts, is heartened by the steady spring season but isn’t celebrating. “Producers are still looking for the best deal they can get, so I just don’t see any kind of significant boom in Los Angeles activity based on worries about the war,” he adds.

Los Angeles TV production jumped to 1,682 days in March — up 58% from February and 29% higher than March 2002.

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