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Los Angeles Feature Film Production Increases 7.6% in Third Quarter

On-location feature film production in Greater Los Angeles increased by 7.6% in the third quarter to 1,172 shoot days, according to the permitting agency FilmL.A.

The agency, which released the report on Wednesday, credited the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program for the gain. It said the incentive program — which provides a 20% tax credit — contributed 133 filming days or 11.3% for the quarter with “Ad Astra,” “Backseat,” “Book Club,” and “Bright” shooting in L.A.

The gain in features was not enough to hold off a 3.5% decline in overall on-location filming in L.A. to 9,455 shoot day — thanks to a 20.4% decline in reality TV shoots to 1,068 shoot days as the category continues to be crowded out by a shift to scripted content.

Commercial production rose 7.2% to 1,335 shoot days and TV drama production increased 4.1% to 1,231 days — the first quarterly increase seen this year. Incentivized TV dramas filming in L.A. were “Code Black,” “American Horror Story: Cult,” “Heathers,” “Law & Order True Crime,” “Lucifer,” and “The Orville.”

Web-based TV was down 14.3% to 558 days and TV comedy slid 17.3% to 534 days.

“It is important to note that despite a year-over-year decline in numbers for the third quarter, on-location production counts are over 10% higher than 5 years ago. Quarterly changes aside, we’ve seen L.A. area film production stabilize at a high level,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley. “That brings a steadier employment picture for area cast and crew, and relief to local small business owners happy to see filming come back.”

Audley also said the outlook for the fourth quarter and 2018 looks strong due to producers having become increasingly familiar with the California incentive program.

“We’re in good shape,” he added. “It will also be interesting to see the impact of Netflix increasing its programming spending.”

California’s expanded production incentive program, which covers up to 25% of production costs, went into effect two years ago with the state committing $1.65 billion for five years in tax credits. L.A. location shooting gained 6.2% last year, according to FilmLA.

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