LOS ANGELES—FilmLA, the partner film office for the City and County of Los Angeles and other local jurisdictions, reported this week that overall on-location production declined 97.8% during the April-June quarter, compared to a year ago. The county’s lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic resulted in just 194 “Shoot Days” during the quarter, marking the lowest filming levels on record. By State and County order, production remained shut down from March 20 to June 15.
Although State and County officials gave film production the green light to resume in late June, the return to work to-date has been gradual and cautious, FilmLA said. The COVID-19 pandemic affected all industry sectors in the second quarter, including the region’s primary production sector, television (down 98.2% to 52 SD) and secondary production sector, commercials (down 95.5% to 58 SD). Feature film production, the third-largest industry segment also took a hit (down 99.7% to 3 SD).
“The first shutdowns we saw in March were voluntary, and it was hoped they could be temporary,” FilmLA said. “Looking back, it was hard to imagine the impact the pandemic would have on entertainment projects in progress, and the economic security of local cast, crew, and production vendors.
“The good news is that production is starting to responsibly return, with advertising shoots, commercials and limited television production now coming online. All permitted filming must comply with Health Orders as issued by County authorities. The measure of compliance we’re seeing is a real help in keeping the industry on the road to recovery.”
Tom Butts has been the editor in chief of TV Technology since 2001. He started out in this industry reporting for member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters in 1995. He is also former editor of DTV Business for Phillips Publishing (now Access Intelligence) and launched digitalbroadcasting.com for VerticalNet in 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Maine.
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