Tough to put these numbers in context because they don't include soundstages, which make up a big portion of local production activity. That said, on-location shooting dropped 2.1 percent during the first quarter compared with a year earlier, according to Film LA, with features doing the best (up almost 16 percent from a year earlier) and television doing the worst (down 9 percent). TV dramas and reality shows really took it on the chin, falling 18.6 percent and 19.3 percent, respectively, from 2011. Actually, several television productions qualified for the state's tax credit program - what had been originally aimed at movies.
Fox and CBS have ordered fewer pilots this year because their schedules are more stable and they need fewer replacement shows. The slowdown also comes as L.A. continues to lose business to rival locations, especially New York. That state, which allocates about $400 million a year in film tax credits -- four times as much as California -- had a record year for film production in 2011, with 23 prime-time series. About 13 pilots are expected to be filmed in New York City this year.