“And, Action!” After Being Incredibly Cautious And Safe During Pandemic, Hollywood Is Finally Getting Back To Work

As several TV dramas aired season debuts this week, there are further signs that Hollywood is continuing its long, slow return to the set.

The coronavirus pandemic affected the film and TV production industry as much as perhaps any U.S. businesses outside of cruise lines, but there is new momentum after June’s reopening of on-location shooting in Los Angeles County.

The past 20 weeks have seen around 2,500 film permit applications for nearly 2,000 movie and TV projects, with permit applications per month rising 24% in October to 880 permits compared with 771 in September. The numbers come from FilmLA, a nonprofit group that tracks Hollywood production.

“As Los Angeles welcomes more episodic series and feature films back to production, we are grateful to local producers, crew and vendors for their adherence to safe filming practices,” FilmLA president Paul Audley said. “To push past our current production plateau with full community support, we need to continue to focus on keeping our workplaces safe.”

The group said, although overall shooting is still less than 47% of what analysts would consider normal, more sitcoms, reality shows and movies were shooting in LA last month than in previous months.

Among the more popular programs in production last month were CBS’s “NCIS LA,” Showtime’s “Shameless” and ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and “American Idol.”

Feature films shooting locally in LA include “Soggy Bottom,” a Paul Thomas Anderson movie with Bradley Cooper that is set in San Fernando Valley in the 1970s; and Warner Bros.’ “King Richard” biopic starring Will Smith as Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams.

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