Local movie filming drops dramatically for month
Los Angeles suffered a 55.6 percent plunge in
location shooting for feature films in September compared with a year ago,
according to figures released Friday by the Entertainment Industry
Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic
Development Corp., believes "runaway production" continues to be
problematic because combating out-of-state filming is not a priority for
"These filming numbers speak to the problems runaway production are
causing us," Kyser said. "The number of films in preparation is running
at a high level. Why aren't they being shot on the streets of Los
EIDC officials attribute the decline more to a remarkably robust
September 2002 than to any sudden loss in local production, although Los
Angeles is losing many independently financed films to foreign countries,
where they can be produced for a cheaper cost, according to EIDC Senior
Vice President Kathleen Milnes.
"It looks like they are just ramping up a little late this fall, but we
are expecting some uptick in our numbers," Milnes said.
Despite the dramatic dip last month, overall filming year-to-date is
less than 1 percent behind 2002 figures and October has already been much
stronger for feature films.
Among the films in local production this month are the Tom Cruise
dramatic-thriller "Collateral"; the drama "Terminal," starring Tom
Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones; the Steve Martin romantic comedy
"Shopgirl"; and the Ben Stiller comedy "Underdogs."
Also shooting locally are the Martin Scorsese-directed drama "The
Aviator," with Leonardo DiCaprio; the action-comedy "Taxi," starring
Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon; and the thriller "Constantine," starring
The feature film drop contributed mightily to an overall 20.8 percent
decline in filming in the Los Angeles area -- the steepest drop all year --
and television commercial and music video production was also slightly
down. The one bright spot in September's numbers is television, which
recorded 1,381 days during the month compared with 1,281 the year before.
"Television is pretty much supplanting features right now because of
the demand for original programming across all television platforms from
broadcast networks to cable and pay cable," Milnes said.
Greg Hernandez, (818)