Movie, commercial shoots see big drop in Los Angeles as post-pandemic production surge recedes
The first of two trailers for Tom Cruise’s upcoming action film “The Mummy.” (Cinema Blend)
LOS ANGELES — As the world began to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, production companies began to look at their schedules and the options available to them.
The biggest concern was not so much the loss of income from canceled business, but the possible loss of production time, in an already constrained time frame for many.
“It’s really quite scary,” said Jeff McDavid, CEO of FilmExpert, a production and networking platform. “Production in L.A. is a little bit at a premium right now, with all the issues that have arisen.”
Production companies that don’t have a lot of money and have already been affected by a slowing economy have been forced to think about what will happen next.
“It’s a really scary time right now for studios,” McDavid said. “If they’re not going to get to play in this time of the year, what are their options? They have to get them someplace.”
Two weeks ago, all filming in southern California was suspended. Since then, the number of available movie sets around Los Angeles — the epicenter of production — has dramatically diminished.
For example, the Warner Bros.-Legendary Pictures-Avatar-Star Trek sequel “Uncharted 4” was due to start shooting this week in San Diego. On Monday, it was announced that production at Paramount Pictures’ San Diego studio, and on an undisclosed location in Oregon, were temporarily halted.
Disney’s upcoming “A Wrinkle in Time” was scheduled to begin shooting this week in California’s central coast near San Luis Obispo, and then move to southern Arizona.
In an email, a spokesperson for the studio said, “The safety of the cast and crew is of utmost importance, and thus production on A Wrinkle in Time will not move forward.”
Even when the situation is safe, it is not easy to relocate production to a different state without a certain level of risk.
In that situation,