Producers opting for soundstages over streets

star-waggons-parked-lao.jpgThe quarterly reports on location shooting in the L.A. area have always been a bogus measurement of local movie and television production because they ignore activity on soundstages and back-lots - a significant portion of the overall pie. But FilmLA, which tallies the location numbers, finally acknowledged in its year-end press release that a drop in TV dramas last year stems in part from more shooting at studio facilities in the L.A. area. No numbers were provided because soundstage and back-lot operators keep that information confidential, but the FilmLA admission derails a widely held assumption that producers not shooting on location in L.A. must have - gasp! - left town for cities and states that offer tax giveaways. That certainly happens, though not nearly enough to damage what's been a pretty strong year for Hollywood. As of November, nearly 8,000 entertainment industry jobs were added to the rolls in L.A. County, one of the biggest employment gains of any industry (and that doesn't count freelancers). Overall on-location production actually increased 4.7 percent in 2012, though it's true that TV dramas and reality shows took it on the chin. Here's the release.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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