Third quarter on-location production in Greater Los Angeles rose 3.8%, thanks to a 54.5% jump in scripted TV production, according to the FilmL.A. permitting agency.
The third quarter set a new Shoot Day record of 4,308 days of TV production in Los Angeles despite a 20% decline in reality TV. That was offset by TV drama production rising 24%, sitcom production soaring 168%, web-based TV gaining 25.6% and pilot production rising 31.6%.
The gains also showed the impact of the California Film and Television tax credit — which has been more than tripled to $330 million annually. Incentive-qualified projects accounted for 247 days in TV drama, 64 days in sitcoms and 42 days for TV pilots.
The incentive-qualified projects included the drama series “Westworld,” “Code Black,” “American Horror Story: Hotel,” “Secrets and Lies” and “Wicked City.” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” was the only sitcom on the list, while pilots included “Paradise Pictures,” “Animal Kingdom” and “Snowfall.”
“We were predicting increases in the scripted television segment, and it appears those predictions are coming true,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley. “Undeniable is the influence and importance of the California Film & Television Tax Credit, which in both its old and new iteration has returned a considerable amount of work to Los Angeles.”
Commercial production grew by 11% to 1,278 days while feature production decreased 11% to 1,146 days. FilmLA said that number will increase in the fourth quarter when the impact of state-incentivized projects begins to show.
Feature films shot during the third quarter with the credit include Warner Bros.’ “Unforgettable” and “Swiss Army Man” from Blackbird Films.
The tax credit of up to 25% is aimed at keeping the industry in California, despite more lucrative government incentives elsewhere. Two of the 11 feature titles that got allocations in August from the state are set in locales that consistently have lured runaways: New Line’s “Conjuring 2,” partially set in the U.K., and “Why Him,” set in Michigan.
Besides “Conjuring 2,” perhaps the best-known among the 11 films conditionally selected on Aug. 18 are Warner Bros.’ “CHiPs” comedy, starring Dax Shepard; Alcon Entertainment’s “Chicken Soup for the Soul”; and an indie film version of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.” The 11 films will receive a total of $55 million in credits, and were picked from 254 productions that had applied.