TV pilot location filming jumps 90% in LA
Location filming days for TV pilots shooting in Los Angeles jumped by a massive 90% in the last three months, new figures have revealed.
In sharp contrast, television drama series production rose by a much more modest 3.8%, according to the quarterly report from FilmLA.
Web-based TV shoots increased by 20%, emphasising Los Angeles’ continuing popularity for lower budget productions. Location filming days for features grew by 10% on the previous quarter.
California’s boosted filming incentive prioritises TV production and relocating series rather than feature films, but considerably less than half (38%) of television dramas received tax credit support in the second quarter. The figure fell to just 15% for TV pilots, suggesting TV producers filming in Los Angeles are more interested in the locations, crew base and the convenience of the Hollywood hub than they are in getting tax credit support.
Los Angeles still struggles to attract big-budget feature productions, with more shoots choosing nearby New Mexico. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine 3 will be the latest studio movie to film in New Mexico and will operate from a base in Albuquerque.
The superhero sequel will reportedly be Jackman’s final outing as the famous comic book character that first made him a star with X-Men 16 years ago.
Filming for Wolverine 3 has been based in Louisiana for the past few months, which is one of the top feature production hubs in the US.
California will need to make further dramatic changes to its tax credit system if it wants to bring back the major studio features.
The state continues to attract a large number of productions, but they are mostly smaller shoots. None of the US films released in 2015 with budgets over $100m was shot primarily in California, with Georgia, Louisiana, Canada and the UK the main competitors.
For more on filming in California see our production guide.