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Hollywood production more than doubled in 2021 during COVID recovery

Hollywood production bounced back in 2021, skyrocketing 141% versus 2020 thanks to a slew of new TV series like HBO’s “Euphoria” starring Zendaya and Peacock’s “Fresh Prince” spinoff “Bel-Air” shot during the year. FilmLA, which tracks productions shot in Los Angeles and found last year that shoots in summer 2020 were cut in half, said last year’s July to September period marked the third-strongest quarter in 26 years, with over 10,000 days of filming recorded in the greater LA area. The momentum continued into the fourth quarter, which recored a robust 10,780 shoot days, up 4% above the previous three-month high set in the last quarter of 2018. Those two quarters together were stronger than the entire pandemic-plagued 2020, which mustered a mere 18,933 shoot days and marked a 48% decline from 2019, FilmLA said. “The biggest takeaway from this report is that the pace of local production continues to increase,” FilmLA president Paul Audley said. “The late-pandemic recovery is uneven in some ways, but community receptiveness to filming is steady and the work opportunities are undeniably there.” With high demand for streaming content, TV production shoots fared the best with 18,560 shoot days, which beat the previous record set in 2016 by 18 percent. Shows that shot this past quarter and amped up the tally included The CW’s “All American,” ABC’s “Promised Land,” FX’s “Snowfall,” HBO’s “Euphoria,” Netflix’s “Frankie” and Peacock’s “Bel-Air,” among others. Production of feature films, however, was still heavily impacted by the pandemic in 2021, as many movie theaters remained at limited capacity and studios pushed back movie release dates as a result. FilmLA said 2021 ended with a total of 3,406 shoot days for features, which is 19% below the pre-COVID average. The report called out movies that filmed in LA, such as Paramount Pictures’ “Wild Chickens,” New Line Features’ “House Party 2,” Netflix’s untitled Jonah Hill project, “Me Time” and “Purple Hearts.” “Feature film production has some pretty wild cycles,” Audley said. “Unlike TV which comes in and can move fairly quickly, the lead-up to produce a large feature is lot longer. My instinct is that they’ve become a lot more cautious as the pandemic has continued across the world.”

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