Filming in Los Angeles is booming, but some production companies are leaving due to the lack of studio space.
In a new report by the Los Angeles Times, the number of TV shows and movies filming in LA is rising. However, some crews are leaving the area due to the lack of space to film their projects. The problem is nicknamed the “Space Race.”
Thanks to streaming services such as Netflix, who are spending billions on original TV shows and movies, there is a plethora of projects now filming across Southern California. California’s film tax credit has also brought back TV shows and lower budget movies to the state. But, the increase in demand is causing a strain for studio space, and producers are starting to look outside Los Angeles to film the projects.
FilmL.A. President Paul Audley said the lack of studio space is the reason why there is a drop-in location filming in Los Angeles.
“The unions tell us everybody is working, so it’s not ‘the sky is falling,’ but the truth of it is we could do more and do better and probably see those numbers crawl back up to the highest levels … if we had space,” Audley told The Times.
Los Angeles has over 300 soundstages and a total of 4.73 million square feet of production space. As the Los Angeles Times points out, empty warehouses, which can be transformed into generic sets, makes Los Angeles have a total of 5.7 million square feet of production space. The total amount of production space in Los Angeles is nearly as much as California’s top five competitors – New York, Georgia, Louisiana, and Canada combined.
Los Angeles Times suggests the problem is certified production spaces. A study by FilmL.A., which handles film permits for the city and the county, found the occupancy rate for soundstage is 96%. The total number is expected to be even higher in an updated report, which is set to be released soon.
The lack of studio space gives more opportunities for Atlanta, Albuquerque, and Vancouver to gain more productions to the state with their steep tax credits. Producers are forced to either leave the area or film in an area that is not designed for filming.
The lack of studio space is causing an increase in demand in real estate. Craig Peters, an industrial real estate broker at CBRE, explains how the industry is doing. “Time and time again, we are seeing industrial buildings get converted into soundstages because all the operating soundstages are pretty much at 0% vacancy, and they have got a line of guys waiting for them.”
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