NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Successful films like Jurassic World, Twelve Years a Slave, The Big Short, and Daddy's Home, all have something in common. They were all shot in Louisiana. Hollywood South created over 33,000 jobs in 2014 and attracted people from all over the world.
Film productions first flocked to the state because of industry tax breaks making filming movies here really cheap. But in the summer of 2015, Louisiana legislators passed a few new laws aimed at tightening those tax breaks. One of those laws went into effect immediately, one went into effect at the beginning of 2016. The last one goes into effect this summer.
Relatively soon after the new laws were passed ABC announced they were pulling productions from Louisiana. WGNO found out later in an interview with the Executive Director at Celtic Studios, Patrick Mulhearn, that ABC only pulled out to get a better understanding of the new laws that confused many people in and out the industry.
So is Hollywood South coming to an end?
Christopher Stelly, the Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment, says "Now we do admit that there was a slight impact. Nothing has really changed. It has been a lot of bad information that we're trying to dispel some of those rumors."
Stelly adds that we are not just competing with the other states in our country, but we are competing against the world. "I never looked at us as a way to take business from other areas, or the world, or to put someone else out of the business. I like to think of us as having our own unique place in this industry where we complement with other jurisdictions are doing because no one does it like Louisiana."
"Right now the applications are certainly coming in almost the same as it was in 2014. So I don't think there's much to worry about. Per capita we still do a considerable amount of business," Christopher Stelly says.
So there you have it! Louisiana is still booming with productions and good ones too. On Thursday, we found out that two films shot in Hollywood South received Oscar nominations. That's The Big Short for Best Picture and Actor Bryan Cranston received a nomination for Best Actor in Trumbo.