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Film Production Steadily Increasing After 6-Month Hiatus During Pandemic

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- Television and film production is ramping back up, after completely shutting down nearly six months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I am glad to be back because it's been five months since I've been off, and that's been horrible" said Bob Wilkins, a construction coordinator for the show "The Neighborhood."


He said his show is requiring weekly COVID-19 tests and mandatory mask-wearing, which helps him feel more comfortable while on the job.

"I think they've taken really good precautions, and I think they're doing the best they can do to make us all safe," he said.

Marc Malkin, the senior culture and events editor at "Variety," said that Hollywood is taking safety seriously — which is not only good for the industry, but for the local economy.

In 2018, TV and film production brought in $6 billion in state spending, employing 18,000 actors and 29,000 crew members, he said.

"Really what's going on is film productions and television production, they're figuring out how to shoot a movie, how to shoot a television show, safely," he said. "More money coming into the city, guess what that means...more tax money. More tax money means there's money to improve roads, healthcare, public transportation, [and] there's money to spend on education."

According to FilmLA, the number of applications for film permits has gradually increased since productions got the green light. Still, it's about 44% of what would be expected under normal conditions.

September is generally when scripted television and feature productions pick up every year, which is also helping the industry get back up and running quicker.
"Once we see there's consistent safety and people are okay, I think you're going to see more and more productions opening up," Malkin said.
Back at "The Neighborhood," Wilkins said being back to work is a win for a lot of people and businesses like the food service, lumber and glass companies he deals with.

"All people around here were hurting as well, so I think we're a big boost to the economy doing that," he said.

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