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L.A. Location Shooting Gains 8.6% In Second Quarter

TV dramas off 12% over five years

Gains in the mainstay TV category have fueled an 8.6% jump in second-quarter location shooting in Los Angeles to 12,173 permitted days.

The small-screen increases, announced Tuesday by the FilmL.A. permitting agency, amounted to a 26.6% hike over the 2012 quarter — including TV drama (up 29.3% to 751 days); web-based TV (up 63.1% to 499);  TV pilots (up 51.8% to 384), sitcoms (up 39.1% to 381) and reality (up 6.4% t0 1,554).

Feature film activity edged up 0.5% to 1,758 days during the quarter, and commercials increased 4.5% to  1,986.

The overall second-quarter hike follows a 17.6% gain in first-quarter activity. That gives the first six months of the year, overall location shooting is up 13.1% to 25,534.

But FilmL.A. president Paul Audley asserted that — when compared with five-year averages — the numbers also show that Los Angeles has continued to see erosion in TV dramas, which generate the highest level of economic activity, as other states lure away production via incentives that are far richer than California’s.

As a result, TV dramas underperformed the five-year average by 12% and reality TV was 4.7% below its five-year average.

“The latest report underscores the importance of two recent developments,” Audley noted. “The first thing to note is an incremental increase in filming driven by new production categories like web-based TV. The second is that, unfortunately, we’ve also seen considerable erosion in the most economically significant production categories. On-location feature production in L.A. is nowhere near as common as it was in the mid-90s, and despite a good run, we’re still logging fewer days for TV dramas and TV reality series than we used to.”

The report noted that California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program, which allocates $100 million annually, supported 22.7% of the second-quarter’s TV drama activity, including “Franklin & Bash” (pictured), “Lost Angels,” “Major Crimes,” “Perception,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Rizzoli and Isles,” “Teen Wolf” and “Switched at Birth.”

The credits are capped at 25% and the allocations are dominated by TV series, since the allocations are continued each year once a series is selected.

Feature films receiving the tax credit during the second quarter accounted for 6.3% of the total and included “Insidious,” “Lowdown,” “OT Beach” and “Ride.”

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