Off-lot prod’n levels jump in L.A. County

First half of 2004 sees film, TV activity gain over 2003

Los Angeles County saw solid levels of off-lot film production in June, jumping 47% from May.

Permitted feature production days totaled 849, up 35% from June 2003. June total repped the highest level of feature activity in nearly two years, according to numbers released by the Entertainment Industry Development Corp.

For the first half of 2004, feature activity totaled 3,928 days — a gain of 12% over the 2003 period.

The numbers for 2004 reveal no evidence of stockpiling since they’re still far below the totals logged during the first half of 2001, when a production boom created due to fear of work stoppages by the WGA, SAG and AFTRA sent each month’s activity over 1,000 days.

The WGA has been working without a contract for two months and has told members it does not expect studios and nets to lock writers out; no new talks are planned.

Features lensing locally in June included “Fat Albert,” “Lords of Dogtown,” “Meet the Fockers” and “Monster in Law.”

TV activity totaled 1,247 days, up 188 from May and 526 from June 2003. Last month marked the first time June TV activity topped 1,000 since the EIDC was created in 1994.

First-half TV activity totaled 8,938 days, up 37% from the first half of 2003 thanks to a booming 2004 pilot season that included 2,466 days in March. “I think that we are seeing far less seasonality in months like June due to the growth of cable programming,” noted MacDonald.

Series shooting locally include “Charmed,” “Entourage,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Monk,” “The Next Great Chump,” “Pimp My Ride” and “Summerland.”

Report also showed tepid performance in commercial shoots with 472 days, up slightly from 448 in May but the second lowest total of 2004.

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