LA Film Production Slows Once Again As Pandemic Locks Down Hollywood
Francesca Billington is a dot.LA editorial intern. She's previously reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. Before joining dot.LA, she was a communications fellow at an environmental science research center in Sri Lanka. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.
The Netflix comedy "The Kominsky Method," HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm and LIfetime's "You" were some of the few television productions filming in Los Angeles last month.
Production in Hollywood dropped in November for the first time since filming resumed in June partly due to the holidays, the election and, of course, the pandemic.
FilmLA, the nonprofit that issues city permits, is averaging just 39 new production permits a day. That's a 7.6% decrease since October, said FilmLA president Paul Audley.
The dip in activity isn't surprising, he added. Audley said last year saw a steeper decline during November.
This year, he said the film industry is trying to catch up after months of reduced business. He expects a similar slow period to take place in December.
In addition to the television series in production, 40 feature films also began filming in the city including "To Leslie" starring Allison Janney and "He's All That," a remake of the 90s romantic comedy, "She's All That," with TikTok star Addison Rae.
Advertising projects like still photography and commercials still make up the majority of production across the city, accounting for 44% of all issued permits. Feature films followed, representing 25% of permits, and TV production lagged behind with 5%.
Audley said public health officials have not yet added additional restrictions to filming. Talent agencies and guilds in L.A. have set their own protocols for testing and social distancing on site.
"I think it's because they're already under such extreme conditions to operate," he said.
Commercials will likely lead most production this month, Audley said, as those projects are smaller and work on shorter timelines.
Still, he's preparing for a plateau in production until large populations are vaccinated or case numbers across the city begin to improve.
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