The Writers Guild of America strike is clearly taking a toll on production, as the Los Angeles permitting agency reported a 69.5% decline in on-location permits last week.
FilmLA, which handles permitting for many jurisdictions around L.A. County, reported that there were 111 permits last week for TV and feature films. That includes reality TV, which is not covered by the WGA strike.
That figure was down 69.5% from the same week in 2022, when there were 364 permits. The figure does not include permits for commercial shoots, which are also done under a separate contract.
The agency was able to report only permit data — not whether filming actually took place. For the current week — the third week of the strike — the agency reported there are seven active permits in the L.A. area for scripted TV shows.
However, four of those shows have been publicly reported to have halted production. And of the remaining three, two are for “non-certified” stages and studios, which are granted on a rolling basis and may not represent actual filming.
It has been difficult to gauge the total economic impact of the strike on the studios. In an email to members on Tuesday, the WGA argued that the strike may end up costing more than the $429 million per year that the guild is seeking under its latest proposals, especially if it goes on for weeks and months.
The Milken Institute estimated that the last strike, in 2007-08, cost the California economy $2.1 billion in lost economic output.
Variety has been keeping a list of shows that have either announced they have suspended production or are continuing without their WGA showrunners.
The strike began on May 2, and there has been no sign of any overtures between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers that would lead to a resumption in talks. The AMPTP is negotiating with the Directors Guild of America, and is set to begin talks with SAG-AFTRA on June 7. Those latter contracts expire on June 30.
VIP+ Webinar Replay: Dissecting WGA Strike Sticking Points