Los Angeles On-Location Film Permits Decline in November

On-location film permits for the Los Angeles area slowed by 7.6% from October to November as production activity eased amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the FilmLA agency reported Tuesday.

The industry, which was mostly shuttered from March to June, has received approximately 3,552 film permit applications spanning 2,514 unique projects over the past 20 weeks for location shooting in the Los Angeles area. For the first time since production resumed, month-over-month permit volume decreased in November as application intake declined to 813 permits from 880 in October.

The agency said the slowing stemmed from the 2020 election, the Thanksgiving holiday and the pandemic. FilmLA’s daily intake is now averaging around 39 new applications per business day.

“The November decrease in production reflects the ongoing complexity of the moment,” said FilmLA President Paul Audley. “At this point, progress for production rests, like so many things, on effective community control of COVID-19. The Greater Los Angeles filmmaking community, so fortunate to be able to remain working, continues to be mindful of safe set rules.”

The advertising industry (still photography and commercials) remains the top sector with 44%  of November permit requests, followed by television at 29% while feature film production comprises only 5% of permit activity.

Television shows that started filming in November include “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix), “Colin in Black and White” (Netflix), “Love Victor” (Hulu), “Triage” (ABC), “You” (Lifetime), “Dave” (FX), “American Crime Story: Impeachment” (FX) and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO). Reality TV shows filming include “The Dead Files” (Travel Channel), “Jay Leno’s Garage “(NBC), and “American Gangster: Trap Queens” (BET).

Approximately 40 feature films began shooting in Greater Los Angeles in November, primarily independents, including “To Leslie” (BCDF Pictures), “He’s All That” (Miramax), Jacqfro Productions’ “Story of Women,” Bow Tie Productions’ “Rescue Rangers and the Paul Thomas Anderson movie, “Soggy Bottom.” Commercial shoots include spots for Popeyes, Carvana, Pandora, Experian, Loews, McDonalds and Taco Bell.

FilmLA permitting had grown by 24% from September to October as an agreement between unions and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on industry-wide safety protocols led to feature film and television productions starting to ramp up production plans. FilmLA said at that point that activity levels had stabilized at just under 47% of what analysts would expect under normal filming conditions.

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