Are Movies Really An Economic Driver For Louisiana?

By Robert Hand
June 19, 2015

Louisiana first encouraged the movie industry to come here in 2002, when the legislature passed the Motion Picture Tax Credit Program, but it didn’t catch on until we beefed it up in 2005, and this year the incentives are producing spectacular results.  In the 63 years before the incentives were created, 52 movies were made, including the favorite Easy Rider in 1969; in the 13 years after, 295 movies were made. In 2015, we are on track to produce 36 movies, about the annual average the last 6 years.


What Are The Incentives That Created A New Industry

The Motion Picture Tax Credit Program offers a 30% rebate on spending inside Louisiana, and an additional 5% for hiring Louisiana residents. Many banks and law firms broker these tax credits which can be sold to investors and used to offset Louisiana income taxes, either corporate or personal. So Tom Benson, or Shell Oil, who pay large amounts of state income taxes, can buy these tax credits for a fraction of the value, and use them to pay their taxes. Donald Trump, not so much.

The money they pay for the tax credits goes to the movie company as cash which they use to finance the movie. So it lowers the cost of the movie, which encourages them to come to Louisiana. For example, at the premier for the movie, RAY, about Ray Charles and starring Jamie Foxx, producer Taylor Hackford said he strongly considered making the movie in Canada, but switched to Louisiana because of the tax incentives.


They Shoot Movies in Lafayette, Don't They?

According to the Louisiana Film Entertainment Association, Louisiana is the third largest film production center outside of New York and California. Last year the film industry created 12,107 jobs averaging $60,000 annual wages and spent 776 million dollars, resulting in local and state taxes of $65 million, excluding wages to actors, producers, directors and writers.

So what did Louisiana do with this new wealth? Representative Joel Robideaux from Lafayette terminated its growth by introducing a law putting a cap on tax credits of $250 million. The law went to the governor for signature last week. To see how your legislator voted, see the legislature website vote.

Spending In Louisiana By Movie Companies By Year


In The Can

These movies are in the works for this year:


The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Feature Film
Scream Queens TV Series Brightstar Fox Productions
Pitbulls & Parolees Season 7 TV Series Animal Planet
Ghostly Matters MOW G-Wave Productions
Beyond Deceit Feature Film Mike and Marty Productions
Nightwatch Season 2 TV Series 44 Blue Productions
Into the Badlands TV Series Stalwart Films
The Big Short Feature Film Plan B Productions
Keanu Feature Film Chime Productions
Carter & June Feature Film Spencer Rabbit LLC
Rodeo & Juliet Feature Film
When the Bough Breaks Feature Film Screen Gems
Quarry TV Series HBO/Cinemax
Zoo TV Series CBS Television
The Long Night Feature Film Lionsgate/Di Bonaventura Pictures
Elvis & Nixon Feature Film HW Productions
The Free State of Jones Feature Film Larger Than Life Productions
Chasing Moksha Feature Film Independent

These movies were made previously:


NOLA Circus Feature Film Independent
The D Train Feature Film Ealing Studios
Our Brand is Crisis Feature Film Warner Bros.
Midnight Special Feature Film Warner Bros.
Mississippi Grind Feature Film Sycamore Pictures
Cat Run 2 Feature Film Independent
Get Hard Feature Film Warner Bros.
Jurassic World (Ebb Tide) Feature Film Universal
Terminator Genisys Feature Film Paramount/Skydance
The Best of Me Feature Film Relativity Films
American Ultra Feature Film Likely Story
Pitbulls & Parolees Season 6 TV Series Animal Planet
NCIS: New Orleans (Pilot) TV Pilot CBS
Hot Pursuit (Don’t Mess with Texas) Feature Film Warner Bros.
American Horror Story: Freak Show TV Series Fox
Black Ink: New Orleans TV Series VH1
Saints & Sinners (Pilot) TV Pilot A&E
Geostorm Feature Film Skydance/Warner Bros
Mind Puppets Feature Film Itaca Films
Adam Divine’s House Party TV Episode Bacon Bar Productions
The Runner Feature Film Paper Street Films
Trumbo Feature Film Groundswell Productions
The American Project Feature Film Independent
The Whole Truth Feature Film Likely Story
NCIS: New Orleans Season 1 TV Series CBS
Banshee TV Episode HBO/Cinemax
Astronaut Wives Club TV Series ABC Television
Man Down Feature Film Mpower Pictures
Mr. Right Feature Film Amezia Productions
Valencia Feature Film Bad Robot
Nightwatch TV Series A&E
Kidnap Feature Film Relativity Studios
Saints & Sinners TV Series A&E
Daddy’s Home Feature Film Paramount
Abattoir (Crone) Feature Film Radical Studios
The Magicians TV Pilot NBC Universal
Joe Dirt 2 Feature Film Sony/Crackle
Kickboxer Feature Film


Cat Run 2 TV Episode KOG Productions
Return to Sender Feature Film HW Productions
Una Vida Feature Film Independent
Grudge Match Feature Film Warner Bros.
True Detective TV Series HBO Entertainment
Remember Sunday MOW Hallmark Channel
Pitbulls & Parolees Season 5 TV Series Animal Planet
Now You See Me Reshoots Feature Film Summit Entertainment
Heat Feature Film Current Entertainment
When The Game Stands Tall Feature Film Mandalay/Sony
The Originals TV Pilot Warner Bros.
Devil’s Due Feature Film Fox
Oxygen TV Pilot CBS Studios
Second Sight TV Pilot CBS Studios
Reckless TV Pilot ABC Studios
American Horror Story: Coven TV Series Ryan Murphy Television
Home Sweet Hell Feature Film Darko Entertainment
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Feature Film MGM/Spyglass
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Feature Film 20th Century Fox
American Heist Feature Film Glacier Films
Occult TV Pilot ABC Studios
Top Chef Season 11 TV Series Bravo
Dermaphoria Feature Film Upload Films
Black or White Feature Film Sunlight Productions
Star-Crossed TV Series CBS Television Studios
Focus Feature Film Warner Bros.
Ravenswood TV Series CBS Studios
Self/less Feature Film Endgame Entertainment
Maggie Feature Film Gold Star Films
22 Jump Street Feature Film Sony
99 Homes Feature Film Noruz Films
Refugio Feature Film Itaca Films
Kidnapping Mr. Heineken Feature Film Informant Films


For more information on what drives our economy, click on these articles:

Which Industry Drives Louisiana's Economy?

Economic Driver's of New Orleans' Commercial Real Estate Industry

Major Industries of the 10 Parish New Orleans Market

Sources: Louisiana Economic Development, Forbes, ABC, Economic Impact of Louisiana's Tax Credit Program, WWNO, Times-Picayune, Mayor's Office of Cultural Economy

Louisiana Commercial Realty

Commercial Real Estate Experts
Robert Hand, MBA, CCIM, SIOR
Licensed in Louisiana & Mississippi
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