CALIFORNIA—On January 12, FilmLA, a partner film office for the City and County of Los Angeles and other local jurisdictions gave an update with the filming activity, since reopening of Los Angeles County and on-location filming since June 2020.

“Like all industries in our country, filming has been severely impacted by COVID-19 with layoffs, delays in productions, etc.,” stated Paul Audley, President of FilmLA to Canyon News. “However, in greater Los Angeles, filming was completely shut down from Mid-March to late June.  Since then, it resumed over the summer at about 20% of normal production.  Gradual increases in September and October never reached 50% of normal.  Currently, production is at about 20% of normal.”

On June 5, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that counties throughout the state could resume film, television and commercial production starting on June 12, 2020.

FilmLA has been monitoring film production for the past 29 weeks. FilmLA recorded 4,213 filming permits with 2,985 unique projects.

With the impact of COVID-19, FilmLA continued to provide permits, but has seen a decrease over the past two months. Last November, there was a 7.6 decrease with 813 permits requested, while December 2020 fell 24.9 percent with 613 permits requested.

“The activity decline started early and deepened throughout December,” states FilmLA on its website.

FilmLA reported the week before Christmas, 143 permits were issued; 58 permits were issued from December 14 through December 20, and 50 permits during  the week of the New Year.

With December having 21 working days, FilmLA averaged 29 film permits daily, which is the lowest the company has seen since August 2020.

“On December 24, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health urged the film industry to consider pausing production for a few weeks during the COVID-19 surge. Highly invested in efforts to keep cast, crew and communities safe, and having already begun dialing activity back, an extended holiday hiatus began. CBS Studios, Warner Bros. TV, Universal Television, Disney Television Studios and Sony Pictures Television all indicated recently that they were pausing production until at least mid-January,” states the FilmLA website.

Television productions made up 27 percent of permits released in December. Only so many TV shows started filming locally. Some of the series that were in production were CBS’ “Ghosts,” “Insecure” (HBO), “Tacoma FD” (HBO Max), “The L Word: Generation Q” (Showtime), and “The 3 of Us” (CBS).

Feature films made six percent of permits released in December, 26 feature films, largely independents, commenced including “Monstrous,” “Slayers” and “This Land.”

Commercial production made 28 percent of the permits that were released in December. Projects featured last month were Haagen Dazs, Honda, Mountain Dew, and retailers/services such as Carl’s Jr., Lowe’s and Progressive.

“The film industry is frequently cited as the 3rd largest economic producer for greater Los Angeles.  More the 5000 small businesses are totally dependent on the film industry, in addition to the studio and union workers we typically associate with filming.  The economic impact is profound outside the industry as well since many sidelined workers do not have income to spend in our region”, said Audley to Canyon News.