Louisiana Film Tax Incentives Help Create “Hollywood South”
Louisiana has a rich history of supporting film production dating back to 1908 with the filming of Faust, FW Murnau’s horror film about Mephistopheles. The next notable film was Tarzan of the Apes completed in 1918. Through the years Louisiana has hosted many famous film productions including A Streetcar Named Desire, Easy Rider, Live and Let Die, The Big Easy and JFK to name a few.
Louisiana’s Formula for Success:
Many people credit Louisiana’s rich cultural history as the basis for success in the film industry. Few states offer a more “colorful” history of politics and people! Louisiana is perhaps best known for its multicultural heritage, cuisine, architecture, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz) and its annual Mardi Gras and other celebrations and festivals.
Louisiana also offers producers the opportunity to film in many different types of locations. Popular choices include the historic French Quarter, the bayous and swamps of Louisiana’s wetlands as well as many of Louisiana’s historic homes and plantations located throughout the state. These unique locations paired with Louisiana’s cultural history make this a wonderful place to tell a story.
1. Incentives such as Louisiana film tax credits
In 2002 the Louisiana Legislature stepped up efforts to develop the film industry by approving a Louisiana film tax credit program to lure producers to the state and tap into the estimated $225,000 per day that major studios bring to their shooting locations. This program provides a percentage of the money spent on a film in the state as a tax incentive to the production company which could be turned into cash through film tax credits. This program, perhaps as much as the other factors, has helped Louisiana’s film industry to build momentum and help it to earn the title “Hollywood South.”
The state’s Office of Entertainment Industry Development (OEID) reports about two dozen television and film projects being conducted in Louisiana in the first quarter of 2008. Some of these projects include:
• “Microwave Park” starring Val Kilmer, Sharon Stone and 50 Cent.
• “The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice” starring Bob Newhart and Noah Wyle.
• “The Open Road” starring Justin Timberlake and Jeff Bridges
• “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” starring Michael Douglas and Jesse Metcalfe
• “Cirque du Freak” starring Salma Hayek and John Reilly
• “12 Rounds” starring John Cena
2. Lower Cost of Doing Business
The cost of doing business in New York or California is roughly 30% higher than Louisiana according to annual studies by the Milken Institute. These lower costs come in the form of more favorable tax structure, competitive wages and lower office space costs. These savings allow films to be produced in Louisiana that may not have been financially possible in other states.
3. Local Efforts to Develop Film Infrastructure
State and local communities are working with producers to build the infrastructure and workforce needed to permanently support the increased presence of film makers. A number of other services have developed as well including financial services companies, CPAs and attorneys who specialize in helping out of state film producers make the most of their Louisiana production.
The local infrastructure improvements include developing film and video sound stages and production offices for use by movie makers and developing new film production studios. Armada Studios is currently developing plans to build a complex near Baton Rouge that would include a hotel, office buildings, sound stages, a commissary and a storage warehouse for filming equipment and supplies.
Local governments are also working to create permanent offices in key metro areas including Lafayette and Shreveport. These offices would support production companies and include offices, sound stages and production facilities. Additionally many local colleges and schools have also created film-specific learning programs to develop Louisiana’s workforce for the industry
Louisiana Film Tax Credit Specialists – FBT Film & Entertainment
FBT Film has taken an active role in developing the state’s film industry through it’s involvement with local communities and is the only provider of Louisiana film incentive programs affiliated with a bank. We offer production insurance through our subsidiary First Insurance Agency and also act as general agents for D.R. Reiff and Ventura Insurance Brokerage. These factors combine to make us Louisiana’s premier “turn-key production partner” for all of your entertainment production needs.
Please contact us today to find out more about Louisiana film tax credits or other incentives.