On-location lensing leaps 34% in state over 6 mos.

Feature pic and television commercial lensing rose sharply in the first half of this year, according to the California Film Commission.

Days of feature film on-location production jumped 34% to 502 days through June 30, compared with 374 days during the same period in 1996. That figure translates into nearly three separate on-location feature shoots per day in the first half of the year.

“The business climate is much better in California, and we have spent a great deal of time educating the localities, Patti Archuletta, director of the California Film Commission, told Daily Variety.

“It’s not just about rolling out the red carpet,” said Archuletta. “We are working with the localities on how to service the film industry, and they are realizing the instant gratification of (industry) dollars to their communities.”

The California Film Commission has also released figures that show that the issue of permits for TV commercial production rose 53% from 285 to 437 through June. All filming, feature film, TV and commercial lensing, increased 28% from 1,426 days to 1,832 during the first half of this year.

Commission officials credit, in part, the state’s policy of charging no location fees on state land. The greatest increase in usage came in state-owned parks and highways.

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