New Orleans film industry spending sees big drop
Spending on movie industry activity in New Orleans has dropped by as much as $200m since the state’s filming incentive was capped last year, officials have reported.
Last year Louisiana’s filming tax credit was capped for the first time at $180m annually, which has resulted in a reduction in the number of big-budget features shooting in New Orleans, according to a division of the Mayor’s Office.
“We've certainly seen a drop in spending on films,” said Scott Hutcheson, an adviser to the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy, in comments reported by NOLA.com. “We have a few more films, but what we're seeing is they're smaller in scope and budget.”
Hutcheson drew attention to the appeal of New Orleans’ historic architecture, breadth of filming locations and skilled crew. The reality, however, is that these factors will frequently be secondary to the availability of large-scale tax credit support for many big-budget studio shoots.
In July the governor of Louisiana announced a review into the state filming incentive following earlier reports of production industry decline in the wake of the tax credit cap.
Part of the problem may have been a misunderstanding on the part of the Hollywood studios that the filming incentive had in fact been cancelled outright.
Louisiana continues to attract high-profile studio features, with recent shoots having included Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Deepwater Horizon. However, the state faces intense competition for big-budget features from Georgia and New York, and from international hubs like Vancouver and Toronto in Canada, and from London.