Word out of Los Angeles is that the film industry is packing its bags. According to Film L.A., the non-profit organization that coordinates permitting for entertainment shot on location in Los Angeles County, many filming categories they track are in decline, some experiencing severe losses. While Sitcom TV and TV Webisodes have surged, the changing production landscape in L.A. has led to an overall economic downturn.

Film L.A. measures production through permits issued to production. Over the last year they’ve documented a decreasing rate of production, especially in the categories of TV Drama, Reality TV and TV Pilots. To make matters more bleak, many new permitted TV projects spend very little and have low employment impacts.

Five broadcast television networks produced 23 new one-hour dramas for the current fall season, but Los Angeles County was home base to only two. This migration of TV Drama pilots represents a loss of about 840 direct and indirect jobs per series, and $60 million in economic development opportunities lost per series, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. These losses hamper support business as well; everyone from prop houses to location managers have felt the effects.

So where is production going? It seems both TV and film are headed to jurisdictions offering more competitive incentives. While this is bad news for Los Angeles County, it may be the perfect opportunity for other states to win valuable production business.


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