LA's Most Film Friendly Neighborhoods
Whether or not you work in Hollywood, film production is an inevitable feature of living LA. From surface street closures that devastate your morning commute, to those ‘Notice of Filming’ sheets that occasionally appear on your front door — life as an Angelino is full of reminders of the sheer amount of media content created in Los Angeles. That's one of the biggest reasons why Giggster features such an expansive collection of photo and film rental locations in LA.
But how much filming is actually going on?
Between 2008 and 2018, according to FilmLA permit data there were 151,201 permitted filming productions in Los Angeles County, which works out to an average of 41 on-location shoots happening around the city every day. The distribution of these productions is relatively widespread, with 55 different zip codes attracting at least 1,000 permitted shoots in the last ten years and another 88 that attracted at least 100 shoots.
While the varied location requirements of real-world productions (urban, rural, suburban, coastal, industrial etc.) help contribute to a long-tail distribution of permits, there are a few LA neighborhoods that stand above the rest in terms of their booking frequency.
Since May 2008 there were only 5 neighborhoods in Los Angeles that had over 5,000 permitted shoots. Despite its famous name and central location, Hollywood (Zip: 90028) is not the center of the film universe, at least when it comes to shooting on-location. That honor goes to the far less assuming, northern section of downtown Los Angeles that encompasses Chinatown and Elysian Park.
One major contributing factor for the popularity of the Chinatown (90012), as well as 2nd ranked Griffith Park (90027) and 4th ranked Venice (90291), is that their boundaries cover some of LA's most popular individual film sites.
The Griffith Park recreation area, as an individual location has been permitted 4,742 times alone in past 10 years, contributing to 73% of all filming activity in 90027. Venice Beach, with 2,727 permits, is the second most popular individual filming location in the city, contributing to 53% of all film activity going on in Venice. While Chinatown also benefits from the 1,482 permits at Elysian Park — even after subtracting these bookings, the neighborhood would still be the 2nd ranked location with 5,438 total permits.
Moving beyond zipcodes and looking at LA from a regional level, the geographical breakdown of permitting is more straightforward. Central Los Angeles and Downtown are neck-and-neck for the top spot with 26,869 and 26,047 permits respectively. San Fernando Valley (18,645 permits) and the West LA (15,350 permits) are also very popular.
If you own property in one of these neighborhoods and aren’t currently listing it for filming, it’s definitely something you should consider. As the data shows, production permitting is not limited to luxurious neighborhoods and in many cases even favors neighborhoods that are centrally located and modestly priced. If you own an interesting home or space in LA — chances are people will want to shoot in it. To get started, you can either reach out to a traditional location agency for representation or list your property on newer platforms like Giggster that serve as a marketplace between content-creating renters and property-owning hosts.