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Millennium Studios downsizes in Louisiana

Millennium Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana, is scaling down its operations after two years without hosting a studio feature.

The facility has been in operation since 2007 and just four years ago opened a new complex including two sound stages and a visual effects studio. Now, Millennium’s California parent company says the studio is “going dark” – this has translated to immediate job losses, but the studio’s long-term fate is less clear.

Gerard Butler’s 2013 action thriller Olympus Has Fallen (pictured) was the last studio production to film scenes at Millennium.

Louisiana authorities recently capped the state’s filming incentive for the first time in its history. It’s clear that Millennium’s problems started long before the current tax credit controversy. However, the new cap - together with delays and uncertainties with the tax credit itself - appears to be having an impact on driving productions to competing states like Georgia.

“Right now the credit isn’t identified until after a production has been made, so the state is asking that the business decision be made after the fact and that has created a disincentive to bring productions to Louisiana,” said Louisiana’s lieutenant governor Jay Dardenne in recent comments to the Shreveport Times.

“You wouldn’t learn whether or not you’re getting the credits until after you’ve spent the money, and that’s not a reasonable policy for business people.”

Louisiana faces a long-term challenge with its filming incentive changes. However, the state is still attracting high-profile productions such as Tom Cruise’s action sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and the TV crime drama spinoff NCIS: New Orleans.

For more on filming in Louisiana check our production guide.