In the past few years, dozens of companies have been traveling from the usual cities like L.A. and New York to use Louisiana film production services. But why now, and why Louisiana?
Louisiana is at the forefront of the expansion of the film industry. Known as “Hollywood South” Louisiana exceeded California in film and television production for the first time in 2013. The reason? There are several.
1. MOTION PICTURE TAX INCENTIVE
In 2002 the state passed the Louisiana Motion Picture Incentive Act. This tax incentive that allows up to 40% transferable tax credit on production expenditure. These tax credits offset personal or corporate income tax liability in Louisiana. Then they’re returned to Louisiana taxpayers. The act also states that to qualify for a maximum tax credit, they must hire local labor. This entitles them to a 10% tax credit for payroll expenditures on Louisiana residents. This encourages productions to use Louisiana residents in their projects.
Thanks to this innovation, New Orleans will be soon be home to largest film industry studio in the Southern U.S. In 2014, Deep South Studios announced that they would be building a $63.5 million movie production campus in Algiers, a New Orleans suburb. With this kind of construction, New Orleans is sure to become a leader in the American film industry.
2. GEOGRAPHY / LOCATION
Besides the tax incentives, there are various reasons why companies are traveling south to take advantage of Louisiana film production. The warmer weather throughout the winter months and Louisiana’s variety of landscapes help to provide more options for location shoots. In essence, they can film in Louisiana but make it appear as if they are in almost any other location.
3. RESIDENT CREATIVES
Not just that but the Louisiana film production industry has always been present within the state thanks to institutions like the University of New Orleans film school program as well as the 26-year running New Orleans Film Festival. There have always been talented film makers in Louisiana brimming with creative ideas. Not all are looking to create multi-million dollar productions but they still enjoy the process of taking an idea and making it a reality for other ventures like corporate videos, commercials and music videos.
Louisiana has been home to many successful productions including: the Twilight Saga films, Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club, 21 and 22 Jump Street, both Pitch Perfect films and Jurassic World. A few notable productions that are currently filming in Louisiana include, Bad Moms starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Christina Applegate, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back starring Tom Cruise, and the television show Scream Queens starring Emma Roberts and Jamie Lee Curtis. Not to mention popular television series that have filmed all over Louisiana such as True Blood, True Detective, and American Horror Story.
So no need to ask why companies are traveling to Louisiana film production. Rather, ask “why not?” With tax incentives that benefit not only the filmmakers, but create jobs for Louisiana locals, landscapes and locations that take your breath away, as well as dedicated and creative residents, Americans will be seeing a lot more of Louisiana in the coming years.