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In 2009, L.A. Saw the Worst Location Filming in 15 Years

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If 2008 was said to be a bad year in filming, the statistics for 2009 are even worse, 19 percent worse. Film L.A., the non profit contracted by the city of Los Angeles to handle permits, reported 37,979 permitted production days in 2009, according to The Wrap. To compare, 2008 had 47,117 film days (to explain, each on-location shoot that is not on studio property is a film day. If in one day, NCIS is filming in downtown, a commercial is being shot at the harbor and out in the Valley, CSI is filming, that would be three film days).

Category by category, feature film production was down 29.9 percent, commercials by 12 percent and TV by 16.6 percent. Digging further into TV, The Wrap reported that "reality TV was down 24.0 percent (5,007 vs. 6,592 PPD) for the year. Sitcoms were down 36.4 percent (863 vs. 1,357 PPD), although more may have been shooting on soundstages to cut costs. Dramas were down 8.6 percent (6,154 vs. 6,736 PPD), perhaps due in part to NBC's Jay Leno experiment in primetime, and pilots finished the year down 8.3 percent from 2008" (emphasis added).

But all hope is not lost. Growth in some categories were seen picking up during the second half the year and the new state film incentive program, which began in July and was authored in the Assembly by now-L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekoran, is seeing results: 17 film and TV projects that generated 300 film days pulled permits in the Los Angeles area--ten of those would have not filmed in California otherwise.