Louisiana Film Industry News

State officials tout Louisiana film industry growth (New Orleans City Business) — 12.13.2007

by Jaime Guillet Staff Writer BATON ROUGE

Current film industry statistics place Louisiana at the top of the nation for film activity growth. The Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development, a department within the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, has compiled state film industry facts and national statistics touting the positive economic and work force impacts of the film industry on Louisiana.  Some of the highlights include: 

–  More than $2 billion in productions have chosen to film in Louisiana since 2002
–  Louisiana is the No. 3 location to shoot films, outside of the traditional production hubs of California and New York
–  Shreveport is Louisiana’s newest production center and has earned the distinction as one of the top 10 cities to
    live, work and make movies by MovieMaker magazine
–  The economic impact of direct in-state spending is dramatically increasing
–  The percentage of production budgets that stayed in Louisiana was 33 percent in 2005, 72 percent in 2006 and 
    87 percent this year; and total direct impact to Louisianas economy is $1.48 billion.

Christopher Stelly, director of the Louisiana Film Office, said 2007 has been record-breaking for our motion picture industry. “We have seen in excess of 50 projects that have selected Louisiana as their filming destination. Additionally, Louisiana’s infrastructure continues to increase, our crew base continues to grow and remains in heavy demand. We are blazing trails and 2008 is shaping up to be another banner year.”

Sherri McConnell, director of the Office of Entertainment Industry Development with LED, said 2007 has been an exceptional year and the growth of the motion picture industry since 2002 has been significant. “Louisiana’s creative talent is a natural fit for this business,” McConnell said.  “It is not surprising at all that it is thriving in our state. With continued dedication from the private sector and a sustained commitment from our local and statewide leaders, Louisiana can establish a thriving entertainment economy unlike anywhere else in the United States. Harnessing the momentum of our motion picture industry, we are working tirelessly to grow and create synergy among our other programs: music and digital media.” In 2008, the state will focus on “the creation of innovative job training programs for Louisianans using $2 million (in) grant funding. This training program will focus on building skilled Louisiana labor for entertainment careers,” McConnell said.

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