Driven by gains in TV and commercial shooting, location production in Los Angeles jumped 9.6% last year amid rising optimism over the looming expansion of the California production tax credit.
Feature film production slipped 3.2% for 2014, after sliding 28% in the fourth quarter. But on-location TV production increased 12.2%, boosted by increases in drama and reality.
A Variety analysis prepared with assistance from FilmL.A. showed that Pivot’s 10-episode documentary series “Welcome to Fairfax” was the most active production shoot in 2014 with 514 days in Los Angeles, followed by Amazon’s police procedural “Bosch” with 379.
The final season of FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” finished third, followed by three more series — El Rey Network’s “Matador” with 230, CBS’ “Criminal Minds” with 228 and MTV’s “Teen Wolf” with 212. A pair of reality series, HGTV’s “Sold on the Spot” and Bravo’s “The People’s Couch,” followed with 187 and 167. CBS’ “Stalker” took the ninth slot with 160 days and Amazon’s series “Transparent” followed with 148.
Commercial production increased 9%, with Internet commercials powering much of the category’s growth.
FilmL.A. is also adopting a new system tracking production, replacing its permitted production data with “shoot days” and launching an investigation into local soundstage-based production.
“This is big news for our city given the critical role the entertainment industry plays in creating tens of thousands of good middle-class jobs and showing the world what it means to be an Angeleno,” said Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our work to make L.A. more film-friendly is already paying off, and we’re excited to see even bigger numbers when the new film tax credit we got passed goes into effect.”
Shooting in California is likely to jump this year in anticipation of the state increasing the annual allocation of state tax credits to $330 million per year — more than triple the current amount — starting with fiscal year 2015-16 and lasting for five years. It will expand the eligibility to include big-budget feature films and new one-hour drama series, categories of production that have migrated away from the state.