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L.A. Filming Days Rise 55% Last Month

October 04, 2002|JAMES BATES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Movie, TV, commercial and music video production on the streets of Los Angeles continues to show signs of recovering from last year's labor pains.

The number of days spent shooting in public places in Los Angeles rose 55% in September from the depressed levels of a year earlier, according to Entertainment Industry Development Corp. film permit statistics.

Production days totaled 2,828, compared with 1,826 days a year earlier. Feature film production days more than doubled to 930 from 428. Television shooting days rose 44% to 1,281, commercial production days climbed 33% to 517, and music video days fell 17% to 100.

One production day is a single day spent on a project. Although the entertainment agency issues permits only when projects shoot away from studio lots, the numbers are an indicator of overall production activity.

Although activity has yet to equal the levels seen in the mid- to late 1990s, the latest figures do mark the strongest September in four years and the third straight monthly increase.

"It's been a while since we've seen this level of activity," said Morrie Goldman, the agency's vice president.

September's numbers contrast with a virtual standstill in production during the last half of 2001. After shooting at a frenetic pace early last year to squeeze in projects before potential strikes by actors and writers that never came, studios slowed production because they were so well-stocked with finished projects.

Through the first nine months of this year, production days were still down nearly 5% from a year earlier, reflecting the sluggishness in shooting that carried over from 2001 into the first half of this year.

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