Movie, commercial shoots see big drop in Los Angeles as post-pandemic production surge recedes
The new coronavirus has knocked more than 50 films and television shows out of production as studios prepare to go online to avoid the spread of the virus.
In Los Angeles, production companies have begun shifting to online-only shoots, but the majority of work performed in the city has yet to be affected.
“I would call it a lull,” said David Kaplan, who directs feature films and television programs. “I would say that it’s a period where we have a little bit of a lull.”
Kaplan’s productions also are working on a few films that will be released later in the year, but he is not expecting a complete halt in filming. He sees a small window of opportunity, but it’s not clear how long it will exist.
“We’re operating during a period where there’s been no new cases of coronavirus, no new cases here in L.A., and that is giving companies the confidence to go ahead,” he said. “The majority of my clients continue to operate.”
Kaplan said he expects L.A.’s film industry to bounce back to pre-pandemic production levels when school is back in session in the district. He said about half of his clients are shooting their films through mid-June, and about a third of them are shooting their programs online.
Kaplan said the shift to online film is motivated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“In times of crisis, you find a way to move quickly and do what’s best for you,” he said.
Kaplan said he expects to see a return to normal levels of production later this month. He predicted the return of activity in July and August, when schools are back in session and the economy will be on its feet.
“I think we’ll be at or slightly above normal when