Los Angeles Filming Drops 18% in Q1 Amid Shutdown

As the shutdown is likely to continue through Q2, FilmLA says any shoot days already lost won’t be able to be recovered later in the year.

Last Updated: April 23, 2020 @ 12:13 PM

Filming in Los Angeles is down 18% in the first three months of the year compared to Q1 of 2019, according to the latest quarterly report from FilmLA, revealing the damage the coronavirus shutdown has already inflicted on Hollywood production.

As the shutdown is likely to continue through Q2, FilmLA says any shoot days already lost won’t be able to be recovered later in the year.

“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,” FilmLA President Paul Audley wrote in a statement. “Our thoughts are with all most closely and seriously affected, whatever the uniqueness of the circumstances.”

After a strong start in January, production in Los Angeles began to rapidly decline by March as cities ordered tight social distancing restrictions and studios voluntarily shut down operations. It put a dent in a significant part of episodic television, as 42.5% is shot in Los Angeles, and episodic television accounts for 70-75 percent of filming activity on major soundstages in the county.

In total, 7,252 shoot days were completed in Qi of 2020, compared to 8,843 in Q1 2019. Television was hit the hardest, with just 2,491 shoot days completed compared to 3,139 in 2019 for a drop of 20.6%.

Audley also promised that FilmLA and its staff — operating remotely and on a reduced schedule since March 13, 2020 — will be prepared for a rapid return to work once it is safe for production to resume.

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