Los Angeles studio filming driven by online content
Demand for studio space in Los Angeles has surged, but much of this upswing is driven by short-form video content producers like media company Buzzfeed.
Location filming days in Los Angeles for online videos soared nearly 50% in 2016, according to figures from FilmL.A., driven by the ever-increasing popularity of short-form video content viewed on mobile devices.
Buzzfeed is one of the biggest producers in this sector of the industry, the LA Times reports.
The appeal of online content has combined with the rapid growth of streaming platforms Netflix and Amazon to exert pressure on Los Angeles’ limited studio infrastructure.
“Soundstages have historically run at a utilisation rate of about 70% - today, many are running at close to 100%,” said Carl Muhlstein, international director at the commercial property firm JLL, in comments to the paper.
“For the first time in a long time, tenants like Netflix are signing long-term ten-year leases. This is unusual because they usually did it on a production-by-production basis.”
Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos recently pledged to scale-up Los Angeles-based production of the platform’s original films and TV shows. This is in spite of California’s filming incentive programme offering limited support for big-budget movies and high-end television dramas.
Increasing demand for stage space from lower-budgeted short-form videos and from the streaming giants is also driving up rental costs after years of stagnation.
Several of the major Hollywood studios are working on expanding their own stage facilities, but these are long-term strategies that will take years to fully deliver.
While short-form content thrives in Los Angeles, Georgia was the most popular US filming location for American movies released theatrically in 2016, according to FilmLA. The UK saw the highest spend from US films, at over $1.1bn.
Main page image: FreeImages.com/Sebastian Stefanov. Article image: iStock.com/TriggerPhoto