Film Production in Los Angeles Enjoys First Double-Digit Growth Since 2015

But TV sees 7.4 percent decline in number of shoot days in L.A.

Feature film productions on-location in Los Angeles increased 11.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018, compared to Q1 of last year. It marks the first double-digit increase in three years, according to the not-for-profit organization FilmL.A.

The California Film Commission has been offering tax credits to lure Hollywood studios back to the Golden Coast to film projects, as major studios like Disney have fled for tax havens such as Atlanta, or locations with other incentives.

Disney’s “Captain Marvel,” starring Brie Lawson, is currently in production and is one of seven films under California’s incentive program with a budget over $100 million to film in the state. The Marvel film, due out next year, filmed in the first quarter under the incentive program along with “Bird Box,” “Peppermint,” “The Devil has a Name” and “Destroyer.”


“It is exciting to see increases in high job producing categories in film and television production,” FilmL.A. President Paul Audley said in a statement. “The California Tax Credit program is sustaining the industry in our region and demonstrates how critical it is for a continuation of the program.”

Of the 9,724 shoot days logged during the first quarter, films brought in by the incentive tax program accounted for 161 of those.

TV saw a 7.4 percent decline in the number of shoot days in L.A., but TV pilots enjoyed a 22 percent increase, and those brought in by the tax program contributed 24 percent, or 65 of the total shoot days.


Tax incentivized TV dramas contributed 50.3 percent of the total shoot days in the category during the first quarter. Incentivized TV comedy projects totaled 89 shoot days, or 17 percent of the category. And on-location commercials rose 10 percent in the first quarter, to 1,633 shoot days.

“This report confirms what below-the-line-workers across Los Angeles are already experiencing – film and television production is booming,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “Each new production means more good-paying jobs and a healthier economy for everyone. L.A. is the creative capital of the world, and we’re going to keep it that way.”

Production of web-based TV in L.A. was down 28.7 percent in the first quarter, compared with last year. Last April, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told TheWrap that the streaming giant planned to bring as much of its production as possible to California.

The company’s $90 million hit fantasy cop film “Bright,” which starred Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, also filmed entirely on location in downtown Los Angeles.

“I personally believe instead of investing in tax incentives that we should invest in infrastructure,” Sarandos told TheWrap. “When you think about productions chasing tax credits all over the world, it puts the onus on the cast and crew who have to travel.”