On Location: Carmageddon, schmarmageddon — local filming activity surged last week in the L.A. area
Even with the logistical concerns surrounding last weekend's closure of the 405 Freeway, overall local production around the Los Angeles area increased 14% last week compared with the same period a year ago, according to the latest numbers from FilmL.A. Inc.
The agency had issued an alert weeks earlier that permits near the construction would be treated case -by case. With the hoopla surrounding "Carmageddon," most production activity during that weekend was clustered in the San Fernando Valley and downtown L.A.
Feature film production continued to be strong, climbing 23% for the week ending July 17. There were 146 production days last week compared with 119 days for the same week last year. (One production day is defined as a single crew's permission to film at a single location in a 24-hour period.)
According to FilmL.A.'s statistics, feature film production in L.A. was up 8% for all of 2010 compared to 2009. Midway through this month, feature film production numbers are slightly ahead of 2010's pace.
Two feature films, the romantic comedy "He Loves Me," starring Deborah Ann Woll and Antonio Banderas, and "The Details," with Elizabeth Banks, Tobey Maguire, Laura Linney and Ray Liotta, began filming in the Los Angeles area last week.
This week, "Struck by Lightning," a comedy starring "Mad Men's" Christina Hendricks, is scheduled to shoot in the Winnetka area, and the movie "White Frog" is slated to film in Calabasas.
The number of production days for television shoots was also up, 272 days last week compared to 239 a year ago, a 14% increase. Production days for commercials increased 5% to 117 production days.
Speaking of Carmageddon, there was some talk of the empty stretch of the 405 being used for a shoot or film promotion. But officials from both FilmL.A. and Metro, the agency overseeing the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, said that for a variety of reasons, no shoots were done in conjunction with last weekend's closure.
For more on what's filming this week, see the map below.
— Thomas Suh Lauder
Photo: Early morning demolition occurs on the Mulholland Bridge. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times.