Area sees seventh straight week of increased activity

Production in Los Angeles has heated up during the fall, with seven straight weeks of increased activity capped by one of the highest totals of the year.

Overall offlot activity surged 39% for a total of 930 permitted days, with strong gains in all categories, according to figures disclosed Tuesday by the FilmL.A. permitting agency.

Even with a Christmas slowdown coming, the fourth quarter is on track to easily eclipse the 2011 quarter as the gains for the past six weeks have been in double digits. The 2011 quarter also saw 10 TV series leave Hollywood.

Paul Audley, prexy of FilmL.A., told Variety that there’s no single factor spurring the stepped-up activity. “That said, it’s not unusual for us to see increases late in the year as production companies rush to finish current projects,” he added.

Feature shooting more than doubled last week, led by indie movie “Time Lapse” with a dozen days. Other films shooting locally include Jason Bateman’s directorial debut “Bad Words,” which began production Oct. 30 and lenses through Dec. 12; locations including the Sportsmen’s Lodge, the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, the Hollywood American Legion, Air Hollywood in Pacoima, LA Center Studios, University High School, Hamilton Elementary School in Pasadena, Jim’s Burgers in Boyle Heights and Beach Grocery in Rosemead.

TV, always the dominant category, jumped 22% to 519 days thanks mostly to an 87% surge in reality TV to 234 permitted days. “Top Engineer” was the most active with 24 days; other skeins shooting included “Back to Skinny,” “Happy Factory,” “Best Ink II,” “Joan & Melissa,” Auction Hunters,” “Fakes and Forgeries” and “Going Yard.”

TV shooting also included offlot activity for “House of Lies,” “Bunheads” and “The Client List.”

The previous weekly year-to-year hikes have totalled 26% 18%, 23%, 19%, 12% and 8%. The gains came after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Sept. 29 to extend the tax credit program for two years for a total of $200 million in credits for productions shot in California.

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