Fewer than a quarter of the movies released by major studios last year were filmed in California. On the other hand, California had a lot more feature films made here than were made anywhere else.
So is the glass-half empty or half-full for California feature film production?
The answer, it seems, is not so clear cut.
A new report by Film L.A, the non-profit that handles permitting and filming data collection for the city of L.A., says the 22 films made here last year – 18 live action and four animated – generated more than a $1 billion in economic activity. New York was second with 13 features, while other popular locales include Georgia, Louisiana, the U.K. and Canada.
The bad news is that California’s once dominant share of feature film production continues to shrink even as the economic impact of production work grows. The L.A. Times says California was home for just 16 percent of the nation’s Top 25 grossing movies last year – compared to 64 percent in 1997.
The Film L.A. report comes just as California film officials prepares to triple the amount of money being offered each year to induce producers to stay in the state, to $330 million a year. A lot of people will be watching closely to see if that taxpayer investment pays off.