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Louisiana defends filming appeal

Authorities in Louisiana have defended the state’s appeal as a key US filming location, a few days after Millennium Studios in Shreveport announced it would be “going dark”.

Louisiana Entertainment reiterated that the developments at Millennium Studios are not connected to recent changes to Louisiana’s filming incentive.

Over the next couple of years, pre-production payments are being capped for the first time and the new legislation imposes a limit of $180 million on the entire program. 

Chris Stelly, executive director of Louisiana Entertainment said: “We are actively engaged with film industry investors, producers, and professionals to assure them that we continue to welcome them as enthusiastically as ever, and their interest in filming here has never waned."

He continued: “The base credit rate remains 30% and now, due to one of the key legislative changes, productions that hire Louisiana residents are eligible for a 10% credit on those wages (compared to 5% previously). We do appreciate the reality that some projects may be taking a longer look at production decisions in the state while they evaluate and review the recent changes.”

Stelly added that Louisiana has always waited until a production has been completed before awarding film incentive payments. The producers can then claim the credit to offset any Louisiana income tax liability, or transfer the credit on the open market to a Louisiana taxpayer. There will be a third option available from July next year, which would enable credits to be claimed directly with the State of Louisiana for 85% of the face value (no need to wait for filing tax returns).

Production professionals in Louisiana have voiced concern that the cap will lead to more shoots choosing to film in hubs like Georgia, however, as of yet cities like New Orleans continue to attract high-profile productions like Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and a remake of the classic slavery TV drama Roots. 

For more on filming in Louisiana, see our production guide. For more information on the current incentives program, take a look at these details from Entertainment Partners


Please note this article was updated on 18 November 2015 to rectify and rephrase the details of the current tax incentive scheme in Louisiana.