Location shoots in Los Angeles were pretty much wiped out completely in the second quarter of this year. It has been reported that 98% of all location shoots were completely stopped, due to current events. The entertainment industry has basically been shut down since the middle of March, with movie and TV productions coming to a halt, along with commercials and music videos. Things were starting to look up back in June, but it looks like most major productions will have to wait until August.
There’s really no way to tell when things will get back to some form of normalcy as cases across the country continue to spike. Los Angeles is also seeing more and more cases, which means it might be a long time before location productions are able to start up again. This is leading to some hesitation about setting things up in advance. FilmLA President Paul Audley had this to say.
“It’s just a reality that once the pandemic hit, this was going to be the result. [Producers have] a real concern about how much resources they put in today to getting up and running, hiring people, getting everything back, with the fact that L.A. is seeing an increase in hospitalizations.”
Nearly all location shooting stopped during the second quarter as Los Angeles recorded only 194 shoot days from April through June. This is just 2% of the 8,632 shoot days that occurred last year during the same timeframe. According to FilmLA, this is the lowest in history. Television shoots during this time were 55, while movies went down to 3 days, when it was at nearly 1,000 at this time last year.
All of this went down as streaming platforms were driving location shoots. Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon, and more have been competing to get more and more original content, which has been keeping Los Angeles supplied with plenty of entertainment industry jobs. Paul Audley says, “We also have to be very concerned about the thousands of small businesses that depend on this industry and whether they have been able to sustain for three months-plus without work.” He went on to estimate that in L.A. “at least 5,000 small businesses, with 10 or fewer employees, depend on the film industry.”
While this is all going on, there are a few shows and commercials that have gone back to soundstage shoots in Los Angeles. Love in the Time of Corona, The Bold and the Beautiful, The Young and the Restless, and General Hospital all went back to work. However, that’s just a drop in the bucket when compared to this same time last year. For now, it looks like Los Angeles will probably head back into lockdown mode to keep things from spreading any further. The Los Angeles Times was the first to report on the current entertainment industry woes.