Filming in Hollywood slumps as recession bites

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The Independent Online

On-location filming in Los Angeles plunged by nearly 20 percent last year, the sharpest annual decline since records began, the group responsible for issuing film permits in the area said Friday.

Film LA revealed in a statement that Los Angeles County continued to see an exodus of production, which has been attributed to the recession, attractive tax breaks offered by other regions and the fall-out from a contract dispute with actors.

The group said the number of permitted production days in Los Angeles and surrounding areas dropped to 37,979 in 2009, down from 47,117 in 2008.

California's newly adopted film tax credit program helped halt the slide as production increased in the second half of the year, Film LA said.

Feature film production was particularly hard hit, Film LA said, falling to 4,976 permitted production days from 7,096 in 2008, the lowest level since 1993 and less than half what it was a decade ago, according to local media.