'Basic Math' wraps filming in L.A.

'Basic Math' wraps filming in L.A.
Cameron Diaz at the 84th Annual Academy Awards show in Los Angeles. Diaz stars in the upcoming romantic comedy with the working title "Basic Math." (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Romantic comedies are still filming in L.A. -- even when it's only a mild flirtation.

An upcoming romantic comedy known as "Basic Math" starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal wrapped production in Los Angeles this week.

But the bulk of the Columbia Pictures movie, set for release in July 2014, actually was filmed in the Boston area, where producers of the movie could take advantage of the Massachusetts 25% film tax credit.

The story, which centers on a married couple who make a sex tape that goes missing and then launch a frantic search to find it, is set in L.A.

Nonetheless, only four of the 44 days of filming actually occurred locally, people involved in the production said.

Crews imported palm trees to make Boston-area sets look like Southern California. Scenes were filmed at Tufts University in Medford, where some 70 students were hired as extras.

One middle school in Reading, Mass., turned down a request to film at the school in part because of concerns about the adult content of the movie, which also has used the working title "Sex Tape," according to local news reports.

The production recently moved to L.A. and filmed scenes at a home in the Westchester area, as well as various establishing shots, including of an office in Woodland Hills and an apartment complex in Valley Village, according to film permits.

A spokesman for Sony Pictures Entertainment declined to comment.

Other high profile features shooting locally are the New Line Cinema comedy "Horrible Bosses 2," starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, and "Undateable John," a romantic comedy with Daryl Hannah, according to film permits from FilmL.A. Inc.

The movies have helped drive up local film production. Production days for feature jumped 84% last week and are up 58% so far in the fourth quarter. Location filming for movies, however, is down substantially from peak levels in the mid-1990s and most of the movies have small to medium-sized budgets.

Television production is up 12% so far this quarter, while commercial filming activity is 10% higher, according to a Los Angeles Times review of film permit data from FilmL.A.

The data are based on production days for projects that are filmed on city and county streets, as well as non-certified sound stages.



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