Off-lot production in Los Angeles kept up a powerful pace in early May, reflecting earlier efforts to stockpile in case writers and actors went on strike.

Feature film activity jumped 39% over the same period last year to 391 production days during the month’s first nine days, according to tracking by the Entertainment Industry Development Corp. For the first four months of 2001, film activity was up 52%.

Local film activity is likely to begin tapering off soon, according to EIDC VP Morrie Goldman, despite optimism from last week’s tentative settlement of the Writers Guild of America’s film-TV contract. That deal has brightened prospects for a similar result in upcoming talks over the SAG/AFTRA pact, which expires June 30.

But producers have calculated they needed at least two months to complete work on major features, so few new films will be starting production in coming weeks, Goldman noted.

Early May TV activity was off slightly, dropping 11% to 190 days. The first four months of the year saw a 49% spike in production days.