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Checking In On Film Production In LA As Oversight Office Says Q2 Was ‘Near Total Loss’ For Industry

Paramount Studios halt film and TV production amid Coronavirus on April 08, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Paramount Studios halt film and TV production amid Coronavirus on April 08, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

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It was expected that the hit to the entertainment industry from the nearly three month shutdown in production due to COVID-19 would be big, but the quarterly report out last week from the official film office for the city and county of Los Angeles illustrates just how much production suffered when the pandemic forced shoots to shutter.

Film LA, the non-profit organization that tracks and permits film shoots, said in announcing its Q2 results that the second quarter was a “near total loss” for on-location in filming in L.A. City and County. The number of shoot days from April to June 2020 was just 194, compared to 8,632 shoot days over that same period in 2019, which FilmLA says amounts to an overall decline of 97.8 percent. Television, commercials and feature film productions, the three largest sectors of production, decreased 98.2 percent, 95.5 percent and 99.7 percent, respectively. And even after getting the greenlight from L.A. County last month to resume production, some have been slow to restart while others like producer Michael Bay are heading back to work. The upcoming Bay-produced film “Songbird” is currently in production in Boyle Heights.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll check in on the state of film and television production across L.A. City and County, and if you work in the entertainment industry, we’d like to hear from you. Are you back to work? What are conditions and protocols like on set? Do you feel comfortable with the precautions in place? If you’re not back to work yet, what would it take to make you feel comfortable returning to a production set? Join our live conversation by calling 866-893-5722.


John Horn, host of the KPCC/LAist Studios podcast “Hollywood, The Sequel”; he tweets @JGHorn

Paul Audley, president of FilmLA, the official film office for the City and County of Los Angeles