FilmLA announced on Wednesday that local film production in Los Angeles declined sharply in the fourth quarter last year, 19.5% behind its record-breaking equivalent logged just one year ago. However, it was still on par with pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Only 8,674 shoot days (SD) were recorded from October through December 2022, with 36,792 SD across all categories by the end of the year. There was a 2.4% decline compared to the 37,709 SD in 2021, with a slight increase of 0.7% in 2019, a pre-pandemic year.
“The return of pre-pandemic filming levels places us roughly where we were in 2019, which was itself a year of significant production decline. Can we hold here, or will the pre-COVID downtrend resume? That is the question everyone is asking,” said FilmLA president Paul Audley.
Shoot days for commercials finished at 24.5% below its five-year annual average. The category posted a 33.7% decline in the fourth quarter alone with 828 SD. Commercial productions, which included shoots for McDonald’s, U.S. Bank and Albertsons, finished the year 22.6% below 2021 (with 4,119 SD vs. 5,319 SD).
Television production levels in 2022 rest 7.3% above their five-year annual average. Activity in 2022 slowed down compared to 2021 and saw a 24.2% drop in the fourth quarter to 3,735 SD. Compared to 2021, television finished the year down 9.6% (with 16,778 SD vs. 18,560 SD).
TV dramas that included “9-1-1,” “Bel-Air,” “Bosch Legacy,” “Snowfall,” “S.W.A.T. ” and “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” posted a fourth-quarter decline of 10.7%, with a total of 1,155 SD. The category saw a -17.5% change year over year (with 4,627 SD vs. 5,610 SD).
A total of 338 SD – that is, 29.3% of all TV drama production in the fourth quarter – were generated by projects receiving the California Film & Television Tax Credit, which is overseen by the California Film Commission.
The feature category, which included “Beverly Hills Cop 4” and the Netflix production of “Atlas,” stood 24% shy of its five-year annual average. It ended the year’s fourth quarter with 760 SD, a 16.2% decline from the same period in 2021.
Overall, feature production saw a smaller loss of -9.6% (with 3,080 SD vs. 3,406 SD). A total of 339 SD – that is, 44.6% of all feature production in the fourth quarter – were generated by projects receiving the California Film & Television Tax Credit.