Venice Beach second-most popular spot in L.A.

Griffith Park, long a favorite backdrop for film and TV shows, has led the way as usual as the top location for offlot shooting in L.A. in 2011, followed by Venice Beach, L.A. Center Studios, Disney Ranch and Elysian Park.

The city-owned park was home to 346 permitted days last year for its main address, which doesn’t include the golf course and observatory, according to statistics provided by permitting agency FilmL.A. Projects shot in the park last year included CBS’ “Criminal Minds” and TNT’s “The Closer.”

“You can find pretty much any look you need in the park,” said FilmL.A. spokesman Todd Lindgren.

Venice Beach was a distant second with 184, followed by the L.A. Center Studios downtown at 173 days — though that figure doesn’t count activity on the certified soundstages but permitted filming in the tower building, filming on Boylston Street and other parts of the lot where a permit is required.

Disney Ranch, a warehouse on Terminal Street, Elysian Park, Linda Vista Hospital in Boyle Heights, Dockweiler Beach, the Club Ed movie ranch in Lancaster and Will Rogers State Beach round out the top 10 locations for 2011.

For the first week of 2012, overall offlot production slid 5% to a soft 321 days with feature activity nearly non-existent at 23 days compared with 44 days in the first week of 2011. TV activity was about even at 226 days, down three days from 2011, while spots gained nine days to 72.

“Seven Psychopaths” was the most active feature with 13 days. “Episodes” was the most in the TV sitcom category with 16 days. Most active spot was for Buick with 10 days.

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