Louisiana film industry threatens Hollywood

Gwendolyn Ducre

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Louisiana literally gave California a run for its money. California’s legislature passed a bill that will help fund more films in the state. The bill is expected to triple the amount of funding incentives to $330 million over the next five years. 

Chris Stelly, Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment said this shouldn’t affect the film industry in Louisiana. However, Stelly said this does prove that Louisiana poses a threat to Hollywood. 

“…California is poised to increase the value of its film incentives says much about how effective Louisiana has been in cultivating film and TV productions within our state,” Stelly said.

Louisiana became the hot spot to film due to its inexpensive tax incentives. Louisiana’s tax incentives include a 30 percent tax credit on films that meet a $300,000 in-state budget threshold. Louisiana also gives a 5 percent tax credit in resident labor costs.

Aside from budget, the state has a lot to offer. Productions are filmed in Louisiana primarily for the location, landscape, rural areas and southern hospitality.  Katie Berry, a junior art major, witnessed a lot of movies filmed in her hometown, Bossier City. Berry said Louisiana has more to offer than Hollywood when it comes to the film industry. 

“I think Louisiana has its own natural beauty and culture that Hollywood doesn’t have. I feel that Hollywood has been over-produced so often. It’s more manmade than natural,” Berry said. 

According to Forbes, California was ranked fourth in the most popular place in which to shoot a movie. Louisiana was voted number one. 

The Milken Institute stated that California   lost more than 16,000 film jobs between 2004 and 2012.  However, Louisiana gained an average of $40 million per year since 2003, according to FBT Film and Industry.

Crystal Brown, a freshmen business accounting, said that it’s great that Louisiana is moving up in the industry. Brown also said Louisiana residents and actors are more laid back.

“We have more down-to-earth people; we don’t have a lot of actors demanding a lot. We’re normal people,” Brown said. 

Louisiana has been the home of more than 300 film and TV productions.