Although it seems like the bad news about the economy is never ending, there is one bright spot for the people of Louisiana: the film and production industry in this state is actually growing. Not only has the entertainment industry as a whole has seen an increase in number of jobs, Louisiana specifically has seen a dramatic increase in the number of films produced locally over the past few years. This trend is due largely to a combination of state initiatives and the unfortunate economic environment of other potential locations.
Tax Credits No Longer Certain In New York
One of the things that made shooting movies and television shows in New York City affordable for production companies were tax credits from both the state and city authorities. This allowed companies to defray the expenses associated with producing their work in such a large and expensive location. However, the credits that were taken for granted for so long are now in question at both a state and city level. The state government in Albany has yet to settle on a budget for the upcoming year, leaving the existence of the credits in question. The credits given by the city authorities were part of a program that used the entirety of its funding last year and has yet to be renewed.
New Mexico Production Company Declares Bankruptcy
Additionally, in one of the states that competes with Louisiana for films, a major studio recently declared bankruptcy. At the end of July, 2010, Albuquerque Studios filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company has listed debts ranging from only $16 to over $100,000, and the debtors include dozens of New Mexico businesses as well as Hollywood companies such as DreamWorks SKG. Thus far, the studio has been able to maintain their production schedule without interruption. However, as the studio seeks additional sources of financing, their precarious financial position may lead future productions to choose an alternate location.
Louisiana Steps in as a Leader
Given the current situations in other locations, Louisiana is in a great position to step in as a leading location for the production of major Hollywood films, and has done during the first half of 2010. So far, 24 films have been shot in New Orleans alone! With a terrain that can imitate many different locations, architecture that can work for a variety of time periods and locations, and skilled crews available, Louisiana has the elements necessary to make it a viable location for films. Even more, in contrast to the situation in New York, Louisiana offers some of the most competitive film industry tax credits in the country, and those credits continue to attract new productions in this growing industry to the state.
To learn more about the growth of Louisiana’s movie industry, or to find out more details about the Louisiana film tax incentive programs contact FBT Film and Entertainment. They are the local experts on film and entertainment movie production credits.