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Byline: Greg Hernandez Staff Writer

Filming of television commercials in Los Angeles is steadily increasing after bottoming out post-Sept. 11, according to figures released Tuesday by the Entertainment Industry Development Corp.

January had 562 production days of commercial filming, the continuation of an upward trend since the terrorist attacks. In October there were 389 days of filming, only 307 in November, then 417 days in December.

``We've had an increase of 25 percent in the last four months,'' said Steve Caplan, senior vice president of external affairs for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers. ``We are encouraged by this increase from the previous six months. We will soon be able to tell if this is an indication of long-term growth.''

Caplan said the January 2001 figure of 810 days is particularly high because that was the first full month of filming after the Screen Actors Guild strike by commercial performers. There had been a huge drop in production of commercials during the second half of 2000 because of the SAG strike.

But the industry has also been rocked by the collapse of the dot-com industry, with some of the work that left Los Angeles during the strike never returning.

Still, Caplan said the industry has reason for optimism.

``We're beginning to see some signs that perhaps the recession wasn't as deep as previously thought and advertisers are getting more confident to produce commercials post-9-11,'' he said.

Meanwhile, figures for feature films (256 days) were down dramatically from a year ago, when there were 1,118 days of filming. But the high number a year ago is attributed to the fact that studios had accelerated production of their film slates in anticipation of a strike by writers and actors, neither of which came to pass.

``Features is in the aftermath of the ramp-up in production last year,'' said Morrie Goldman, vice president of the EIDC, which releases production day totals each month. ``It generally takes six to nine months for projects to work through the system. We will have much more activity as we head toward spring.''

According to EIDC figures, production days for the music industry remained unchanged from the year prior while television is slightly up from 941 days in January 2001 to 1,062 days last month.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Feb 6, 2002

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