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Los Angeles Film Permits Increased 43% in February, FilmLA Report Says

But production shoots are still down 40% from normal levels

After a February in which the vaccination process picked up and COVID-19 infections dropped, FilmLA reports that it received 777 film permits for movie, TV and commercial shoots in Los Angeles County, a 43% increase from January.

While filming in the county is still 40% below normal levels, it’s an encouraging sign for the local film industry after film permits declined during the rapid surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths this past winter. When FilmLA began accepting applications again back in June, the number of permit requests received in a month peaked in October with 880, but declined as the pandemic hit its worst stage with 813 in November, 613 in December, and just 543 in January.

On top of this, the Producers Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee — the bargaining group that represents commercial advertisers and advertising agencies — agreed to temporarily pause shoots in the county after requested to do so by local health officials. That pause ended on February 1, leading into the recent surge in on-location shooting.

“As new COVID-19 case counts diminish and more projects restart production, we are optimistic that the local film economy will soon be back on track,” said FilmLA President Paul Audley. “On-location filming, for months conducted safely in observance of strict health protocols, will surely rise again with the reopening of businesses and expanding vaccine availability.”

While most film productions that have resumed shooting are independent films, some major studio productions that have filmed in L.A. this past month include A24’s “C’mon C’mon” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Netflix’s “Sweet Girl” with Jason Momoa and Marisa Tomei. TV shows that have recently started or resumed filming include NBC’s “This Is Us,” HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and FX’s “American Crime Impeachment Story.”