Louisiana Fights Back With Revived and Generous Production Incentives

Baby Driver

Long a mecca for Hollywood types seeking substantial incentives, Louisiana has grown into a production powerhouse. However, over the past few years, with the breaks coming into question, the state has lost business to places like Georgia. Now, with a newly revised incentive plan offering a 25%-40% partially refundable tax credit, the state is fighting back.

As a result of its long history as a production hub, Louisiana provides numerous production facilities, highly trained crews, and a plethora of production services companies, including location scouting and on-site support.

In fact, over the years, during California’s long runaway production phase, many below-the-line workers moved from Hollywood to the Pelican State to find work. Today they form a deep labor pool of production talent that benefits filmmakers from around the world who come to Louisiana. (Another incentive: New Orleans restaurants.)

Specifically, the financial incentive offers a 40% refundable tax credit for resident above-the-line and below-the-line workers, and a 25% refundable tax credit for non-resident above-the-line and below-the-line workers.

The minimum spend requirement is $300,000. The project cap is $20 million for film and $25 million for TV series per season. Credits can be granted on the first $3 million of an individual’s salary.

Recent Louisiana productions include “Baby Driver” (2017), “American Made” (2017), “Girls Trip” (2017), “Logan” (2017), “Kidnap” (2017), “Bad Moms” (2016), TV show “Scream” (began in 2015), and TV show “The Originals” (began in 2013).

40% Credit for resident above-the-line and below-the-line workers
25% Credit for nonresident above-the-line and below-the-line workers
$300k Minimum spend
Information courtesy of EP Financial Solutions, a production incentive consulting and financial services company.

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  1. Terry Thomas says:

    Just before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, most film and TV productions were planning to leave Louisiana. Why? Crime and corruption.

    After the hurricane, many productions that were about to leave decided it would be bad public relations if they left because it might look as though they were abandoning the state in its time of need. But over the years, they quietly left – most for here in Georgia.

    I know about this because I was one of the core group of people from the Georgia Production Partnership which was behind getting the Georgia tax incentives bill signed.

    Terry Thomas
    Director of Photography & Stills Photographer
    Atlanta, Georgia USA

    • Carson says:

      Why do you want to bad-mouth Louisiana with mischaracterization? Georgia’s incentives are attractive to filmmakers, but the nightmarish Atlanta traffic isn’t. I have yet to encounter a film producer who prefers shooting in Atlanta over shooting in New Orleans. Sure, Georgia is enjoying a romance stage with filming, just as Louusiana did prior to lawmakers and taxpayers realizing what a money-loser the incentives are for every state. The big films didn’t leave Louisiana because of “corruption”. They left because of the caps placed on the incentives once lawmakers and the taxpayers saw that the incentives don’t produce a net gain for state revenues. Are you so arrogant as to think that the same won’t occur in GA.?

  2. John Jabaley says:

    As much as we in Louisiana would like to take credit for “Baby Driver,” it was filmed in Atlanta. Perhaps you can replace it in the list with “The Free State of Jones,” which filmed entirely in Louisiana.
    Similarly, while “The Originals” is set in New Orleans, it films primarily in Atlanta.
    Among the current series that do film in Louisiana include are “Queen Sugar,” “Claws,” and of course, “NCIS: New Orleans.”

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