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'Bird Box' and other movies boost local production 5% in fourth quarter, report says

'Bird Box' and other movies boost local production 5% in fourth quarter, report says
Julian Edwards and Sandra Bullock in the popular Netflix thriller "Bird Box." (Saeed Adyani / TNS)

Los Angeles County film and TV production increased 5% in the fourth quarter, as movies such as the popular Netflix thriller “Bird Box” opted to film locally, according to data released Wednesday.

Film and TV productions in the L.A. region accounted for 10,359 shoot days in the fourth quarter, compared with 9,867 days a year earlier, according to a report by FilmL.A., the nonprofit group that handles film permits for the city and county.

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For the year, Greater Los Angeles had 38,795 shoot days, up 1.3% from 2017. The slight gain was fueled by double-digit increases in location filming for features, TV dramas, TV pilots and commercials, which helped to offset declines in other areas, the report said.

FilmL.A. President Paul Audley said much of the increase was the result of the state’s film and TV tax credit program, which offers $330 million in annual tax credits handed out to select productions. The program, which was extended by the California Legislature last year through 2025, has helped to slow the pace of runaway productions to Georgia, Louisiana, New York and other states, officials say.

“The return of jobs and businesses in the film industry is great news for our region, and we look forward to a great 2019,” Audley said in a statement.

“Bird Box” was among several films that received state tax breaks. The movie starring Sandra Bullock filmed at a home in Monrovia that has become a tourist attraction for fans. Other incentivized movies that shot locally during the fourth quarter included “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Rim of the World.”

Overall, feature film activity for the year was up 12%, with 4,377 shoot days.

Television had a more mixed year, dropping 5% with 14,466 shoot days, mainly because of declines in reality TV, sitcoms and web-based productions, FilmL.A. said.

In 2018, there were 6,033 shoot days for on-location filming for commercials, up 9% from 2017. L.A. is a major hub for auto commercials especially.

FilmL.A. tracks productions on streets and in non-certified soundstages in the city and county. A shoot day is defined as a crew’s permission to film at one or more locations during a 24-hour period.

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