FilmLA has reported an increase in the application for on-location permits for March, an optimistic sign for the return of production in Hollywood.

After the holiday COVID surge and voluntarily industry production pause in December and January, application activity surged 45% from February (with 777 applications) to March (with 1,125 applications).

“The current pace of business resumption is encouraging,” said FilmLA President Paul Audley. “Continuing industry adherence to Appendix J protocols, which has made film sets among the safest possible workplaces during the pandemic, remains important even as local vaccine uptake increases.”

Total shoot days were down last quarter from the same quarter in 2020. A total of 7011 days showed a decrease of 3.3% from the January through March period last year, most of which took place before the pandemic.

However, in the television category, there was an increase of 50.1% over last year for a total of 3,766 shoot days. The largest growth was through reality TV series which saw an uptick of 96.4% compared to Q1 2020 (to 1,514 SD in 2021). TV dramas also increased significantly, growing 64.1% (to 1,459 SD).

A total of 24.7% of television drama shoot days came from projects qualified for the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program, along with 5% of shoot days for TV comedies.

Among the shows filming locally were “Generation,” (HBO Max), “9-1-1: Lone Star” (Fox), “Mayans MC” (FX), “NCIS: LA” (CBS), “Colin in Black & White” (Netflix) and “Shameless” (Showtime).

Michael Bay’s thriller “Ambulance” starring Jake Gyllenhaal was just one of the many film productions filming locally. The untitled David O. Russell project with Robert De Niro and Christian Bale, and the Columbia Pictures action thriller “The Gray Man,” with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans were also filming.

With commercial production, a total of 993 shoot days were generated but declined by 18.2% compared to the same period in 2020.

Spots for products like Remy Martin, Little Caesar’s and Nike were shot locally during the quarter. Also included were commercials for Nissan, Ford and Nationwide Insurance.