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TV, movie filming making a slow but steady return

Activity remains very limited

OW Staff Writer | 8/7/2020, midnight
FilmLA, the nonprofit film office for the city and county of Los Angeles and other local..

FilmLA, the nonprofit film office for the city and county of Los Angeles and other local jurisdictions, said this week that regional production is slowly coming back amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After receiving approval from local authorities to begin processing film permits, FilmLA resumed remote office operations on June 15 after about a three-month hiatus. Limited filming activity was underway in the region by June 19.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that there are few other industries seeking to reopen as responsibly as the film business,’’ FilmLA President Paul Audley said. “Hundreds of smaller projects have successfully applied safe set practices as outlined in state and local public health orders. Meanwhile, continuing dialogue between studio and labor representatives is driving focused attention to cast, crew and vendor safety and compliance.’’

Since filming was permitted to restart, FilmLA said it has received 577 film permit applications from 422 unique projects. Daily application intake has increased “marginally’’ over time, growing from approximately 14 applications per day in late June to 18 per day in late July.

That is about 34 percent of the application count FilmLA said it would expect under normal conditions, upheld by activity in the advertising industry, including still photography and commercials.

Reality TV production has also started to resume, but FilmLA said overall activity will remain low until scripted television and feature production pick up, which is expected in early September.

Currently, all 16 of the city and county jurisdictions served by FilmLA are open to filming, and one of the six school districts served by FilmLA has also reopened to host filming and base camp parking on campus.

“As production continues to pick up, it’s essential that the hosting communities are assured about the industry’s commitment to safety,’’ Audley said. “Being closed to the public, the physical film production environment is among the safer work settings available to essential workers in California. The presence of a film company, working with a valid permit and adhering fully to county health orders, is something we hope local communities will welcome.’’

FilmLA’s COVID-19 Resource Center, available at www.filmla.com/covid-19, lists the areas it serves and current filming availability. The website also includes links to resources from film industry organizations and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, including mandatory health orders that apply to filming on location.