On-location filming in Greater Los Angeles increased 3 percent last quarter to a record-setting 9,795 shoot days (SD), reported FilmL.A., a not-for profit organization that serves as the official film office of the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles and 20 other area jurisdictions.
From July through September, an increase in television production (up 2.7 percent to 4,423 SD) offset modest declines in on-location feature (down 5 percent to 1,089 SD) and commercials (down 2.6 percent to 1,245 SD) production.
Local on-location TV production continues to be energized up by the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program. Incentive-qualified TV projects filming in Los Angeles last quarter included American Horror Story, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I’m Dying Up Here, Pitch, Scream Queens, This is Us, and Westworld. Approximately one fourth of all local TV drama and TV comedy production is incentive-driven.
But it was TV reality and web-based TV that powered last quarter’s growth, with TV reality posting its first increase (up 6.6 percent to 1,342 SD) in six consecutive quarters, and short-form web-based TV reaching a new quarterly high (up 72.2 percent to 651 SD).
“California’s film incentive is now helping to sustain local TV production after seven straight quarters of growth,” noted Paul Audley, president of FilmL.A. “We knew we’d see a leveling off as the program reached full utilization. With the program doing all it can to support filming in California, our focus is on the neighborhoods where filming happens and on managing the activity taking place.”
Overall area feature film production declined (down 5 percent to 1,089 SD), after three straight quarters of growth. Along with other, non-incentivized feature projects, four films retained by the state incentive filmed in Greater Los Angeles last quarter: CHiPS (for pickup shots), Sandy Wexler, Suburbicon and The God Particle.
Commercial production levels slipped for the second straight quarter, dropping 2.6 percent (to 1,245 SD). Year-to-date, the category is still slightly ahead of where it was at this time in 2015.
Woman Walks Ahead In New Mexico
Nick Maniatis, director of the New Mexico Film Office, announced that the independent theatrical feature Woman Walks Ahead which was financed and produced by Black Bicycle Entertainment and Bedford Falls in association with Potboiler, has begun principal photography in Santa Fe, Pecos and Albuquerque, NM.
“We’re honored that the production team chose this area for their project, which carries particular cultural and historic significance,” said Santa Fe County manager Katherine Miller. “We’re especially excited that as we head into fall this maintains the momentum of a tremendous summer of production throughout the entire Santa Fe region and brings millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs to the local economy.”
The production will employ approximately 150 New Mexico crew members, 15 New Mexico principal actors and 1,000 New Mexico background talent.
Michael Greyeyes (The New World), Sam Rockwell (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), Ciaran Hinds (Silence, Munich), Chaske Spencer (The Twilight Saga, Cinemax’s Banshee) and Bill Camp (The Night Of) have joined the cast of Susanna White’s (Our Kind of Traitor, Generation Kill) Woman Walks Ahead which stars Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain (The Martian, The Help). Woman Walks Ahead is the story of Catherine Weldon, a portrait painter from 1890’s Brooklyn, who travels to Dakota to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull, and becomes embroiled in the Lakota peoples’ struggle over the rights to their land. The film is based on a script by Oscar nominee Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke).