Facility rides Louisiana incentives

Taking advantage of increasing film production in Louisiana encouraged by the state’s aggressive tax credits, Millennium Studios formally opened its doors Thursday in Shreveport.

Owned by Nu Image/Millennium Films, the 70,000-square-foot, $10 million project covers 6.7 acres. Construction started at the end of 2009, and the studios now include two soundstages, 14,000 square feet of office space plus hair, makeup, props, wardrobe, construction and production services.

The property also houses Worldwide FX, which employs 70 artists and graphic designers. The vfx house is currently finishing work on two features, “Conan the Barbarian” and “Trespass.” Since it opened in 2009, WWFX has completed CGI and effects on such features as “The Expendables,” “The Mechanic” and “Drive Angry in 3D.”

“I applaud Nu Image/Millennium Films for having the vision to invest in the future of the film industry in the Shreveport region and for the large number of well-paid jobs it has brought to the area,” said Shreveport mayor Cedric Glover.

Nu Image, parent company of Millennium Studios, has produced 16 pictures in Louisiana to date, 13 of which were lensed in the Shreveport area. Recent films shot there include “Leaves of Grass,” “Drive Angry” and “Trespass.” The company is currently in pre-production on “Playing the Field,” starring Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel and directed by Gabriele Muccino; and Simon West’s “Medallion,” with Nicolas Cage, shooting in New Orleans.

“I am very excited to expand our operations in Louisiana, and we hope to bring a lot more productions to Shreveport,” said Nu Image chairman Avi Lerner.

“We’re thrilled that Louisiana’s entertainment incentive programs have enabled Nu Image and Worldwide FX to make such a significant investment here,” said Sherri McConnell, exec director of Louisiana Entertainment, the state film office. “The tax incentives in Louisiana both for production and infrastructure development are a model that many other states and countries would do well to study.”

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