Written by Shona Smith on Apr 24, 2020. Posted in General Interest

Film L.A Report shows how on-location filming stalled in weeks leading up to lockdown

After a strong start in January, on-location filming in the Greater LA area slowed as voluntary cutbacks and progressively tightening limits on public gathering limited shooting days.

In February 2020 there were over a thousand local productions filming. In March the numbers dwindled to six-hundred and forty-four before filming ended completely in compliance with "safer at home" orders on March 20. The measures imposed by the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health and other state and local authorities have closed the region to on-location filming until further notice.

The hardest hit filming sector in the first quarter was television, seeing an overall decline of 20.6 percent. The report highlights that this is highly significant for the for the television sector because in 2019 42.5% of scripted shows produced across all platforms were shot in Los Angeles. The lockdown has also greatly impacted pilot season which generally runs from late February to early May.

Commercial production activity slipped by 12.5% in the first quarter to 1,214 shoot days while feature film production slid 6.1% to six hundred and sixty-five shoot days in the same period. Click here to read the full report.

Film L.A president Paul Audley, comments “FilmLA joins with all of Los Angeles in prioritizing the health and well-being of our communities during this unprecedented challenge. Our concern extends also to the economic security of local families, including the nearly one in five Angelenos with ties to this business and the thousands of small businesses they support. Our thoughts are with all most closely and seriously affected – whatever the uniqueness of the circumstances”.

Even if production resumes in June it is unlikely that shoot day losses will be recoverable in 2020 says FilmLA analysts. However, the agency is prepared for a rapid return to work once it is safe to do so and Audley has commented that he expects production to resume in reverse of how it closed down.

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