Film production in LosAngeles boomed in 2004 according to latest figures from LA's EntertainmentIndustry Development Corp.

It said one of the keyreasons for the 19% increase in production days for feature films in 2004 wasthat the decline in value of the US dollar has made it more attractive forHollywood films to stay at home.

In recent years, anincreasing number of 'runaway' productions have left Hollywood to shoot incountries like the UK, Canada, Ireland and Australia because of the strength ofthe US dollar and attractive tax breaks on offer.

"The cost savings are nolonger there," Jack Kyser, chief economist with the organisation, told TheLos Angeles Times.

The 19% rise in productiondays on films like Million Dollar Baby and Collateral reverses aneight year decline. Feature film permits totalled 8,707 days, up from 2003's7,329.

The Entertainment IndustryDevelopment Corp issues shooting permits for Los Angeles and much of thecounty, though not some cities like Burbank and Long Beach.

However, The Timessaid that because many major productions are planned years in advance of actualfilming, the effect of the weak dollar might not have played the starring role.

It also said that it wasunclear whether foreign countries' losses were necessarily Los Angeles' gain asother states like New Mexico, Louisiana and New York were working aggressivelyto tempt producers with tax incentives.

See this week's Screen International for a major featureinvestigation into the impact of currency fluctuations on international filmshoots.