Over the past several years the film industry in Louisiana has grown dramatically, with blockbuster after blockbuster being filmed and produced in the state. Because of this, Louisiana has been nicknamed “Hollywood South” as well as “Hollywood on the Bayou”!
So why is Hollywood bringing their talents to Louisiana? Well, the ‘Hollywood answer’ would be that Louisiana offers very diverse filming locations not found anywhere else in the world. But the more concrete and business-related answer falls with the state’s tax incentives which are aimed directly at film and television companies. In 2002, the Louisiana legislature enacted the Louisiana Motion Picture Tax Incentive Act which has two primary components. First, the Investor Tax Credit provides a 30% tax credit on qualified motion picture expenditures with no project or program cap. Second, the Labor Tax Credit provides a 5% credit for payroll expenditures on Louisiana residents. Because of these rules/programs, the legislature encourages not only people to film in the state (with a spending program of at least $300,000 to qualify for the incentives), but also to employ Louisiana residents.
Helping to connect and bring these tax incentives to Hollywood filmmakers is Leonardo Barros, one of the top financial analysts and advisors at FBT Investments in New Orleans, Louisiana. Leonardo has been credited as one of the top brokers of the Louisiana Film Tax Credits and has helped advise countless CPAs on how to use those credits to save tax dollars while bringing their projects to his area.
Speaking exclusively to byteclay.com, Leonardo explains more on why producers should be looking at Louisiana if they already haven’t been, “Louisiana has grown to become one of the most attractive places to film in the world. We have a well-developed infrastructure and a deep, highly trained crew base. We have studio space and stages all over the state, a varied physical landscape that is great for locations and most of the major sectors of the industry have moved a location here – from post production to lighting and make up. You name it, we got it. Filmmakers can come here and have most if not all of the support services and trained crew that they would have in Hollywood, and they’ll receive a generous tax incentive to do so.”
From HBO’s recent hit series ‘True Blood’, to the History Channel’s ‘Swamp People’, and major motion pictures like ‘Django Unchained’, ’12 Years a Slave’, and ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, Louisiana has turned itself into a hot spot to not only live/work/visit, but for Hollywood stars to film their projects!