L.A. Commercial Shoots Up 50 Percent

e number of commercial-shooting days in Los Angeles has increased significantly since the end of the six-month commercial actors strike in October, according to new figures released last week. The Entertainment Industry Development Corp. reported that the number of commercial production days rose more than 50 percent to 335 last month from 155 in October. The number of commercial shooting days around the metro area remained flat compared with a year ago. The increase came as hopeful news in Los Angeles, which saw shoots leave the state and country during the recent strike. Productions headed to such other U.S. cities as St. Louis and Minneapolis or overseas to South Africa and eastern European countries. Steve Caplan of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers said he isn't convinced that the jump in numbers signals a full-fledged return for commercial production."There's a lot of filming going on right now, and I hope that it stays here, but I think it's still to early to tell," he said. "The strike had a noticeable impact on moving production overseas."EIDC spokesman Morrie Goldman said the group expects commercial production numbers to pick up after the first of the year. Across the industry, production days barely rose compared with last year, up to 2,487 from 2,478, or 0.36 percent. Feature films in production registered at 910, compared with 1,066 last year, while television rose to 1,111 from 927.Most industry watchers expect feature and television production to skyrocket starting this month and continuing through April in anticipation of threatened writers and actors strikes in the spring. Additionally, increased job growth in the entertainment industry sector is anticipated-to an estimated 150,000 by next month from 139,000 in May, according to state figures released last mont