×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Louisiana Hopes to Lure Productions to Deep South with New Studio

When producer Scott Niemeyer came to New Orleans to shoot his 2012 film “Pitch Perfect,” he found a lot of cheap production space: empty warehouses and abandoned stores standing in for soundstages and decommissioned state buildings. But he discovered that, in most cases, you get what you pay for. He had to bring in diesel generators for power, supplemental HVAC systems for air conditioning and erect lighting grids.

And don’t even talk about the soundproofing.

“Anything goes there,” Niemeyer says. “The sound guys pull their hair out, and we spend time in ADR trying to fix it.”

In response to such issues, a handful of soundstage facilities have cropped up in Louisiana over the past decade, but they’re mostly retrofitted buildings, not originally designed for production, Niemeyer says.

Recognizing the need for himself and others, Niemeyer set out to build Deep South Studios, a $63.5 million state-of-the-art, purpose-built production complex not far from New Orleans’ French Quarter.

GRAND OPENING: Deep South Studios is a new addition to Louisiana’s production scene.

When completed, the 17-acre facility will have 262,000 square-feet of production space, including five soundstages, and 100,000 square-feet of office space.

Because the state’s generous production tax credit and, in turn, its ability to attract film and TV projects are subject to the whims of the Legislature, Niemeyer found it difficult to attract local lenders and financiers. So he decided to take advantage of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, in which foreigners contribute at least $500,000 to the capital pool for a new business that will create jobs for 10 U.S. workers for each $1 million invested. In return, the investors are given the opportunity to secure a green card.

Niemeyer says he’s raised seven figures of the project’s total mid-eight figure budget and the site has been cleared for construction.

“If the fair wind continues to blow with the EB-5 subscriptions, I think we could be hosting our first production in the first quarter of 2017,” he says.

More Film

  • Miramax Developing 'I Won't Be Home

    Film News Roundup: Miramax Developing 'I Won't Be Home for Christmas'

    In today’s film news roundup, “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas” is in the works, the NFL has made a documentary about female team owners and D Street Pictures has signed Kenny Gage and Devon Downs to direct the dance feature “Move.” HOLIDAY PROJECT Miramax has acquired film rights to Lauren Iungerich’s holiday-themed screenplay “I [...]

  • Michael B. Jordan arrives at the

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Warner Bros.' 'Methuselah' Movie

    Michael B. Jordan will produce and star in a “Methuselah” movie for Warner Bros., based on the Biblical story of a man who lived to be 969 years old. Jordan will produce through his Outlier Society production company along with Heyday’s David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. Warner Bros. has been developing the project for many [...]

  • Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping

    Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping Italy's Top Film Awards

    Piera Detassis recently became the first woman to head the David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s equivalent of the Oscars. Since then she’s been busy overhauling the inner workings of the prizes that will be awarded on Wednesday. Detassis, also the editor of Italian film publication Ciak, spoke exclusively to Variety about the challenges she’s faced [...]

  • Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards

    Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards Race

    With 15 nominations Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman” leads the pack of contenders for Italy’s David di Donatello Awards in a watershed year for the country’s top film nods that sees highbrow auteur titles reaping most of the David love just as local box-office grosses hit an all-time low. Garrone’s gritty revenge drama is followed closely with [...]

  • steven spielberg Apple TV Plus

    Steven Spielberg's Apple Appearance Riles Up Social Media: 'Big Old Mixed Message'

    Many Hollywood heavyweights flocked to Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters to help reveal the tech giant’s revamped steaming service Apple TV+ on Monday — but one such legend was so polarizing he became a national trending topic on Twitter for simply showing his face. Steven Spielberg was the first to appear in a dramatic short film [...]

  • Michael Lynne

    Former New Line Co-Chairman Michael Lynne Dies at 77

    Michael Lynne, the former co-chairman of New Line Cinema who played a key role in shepherding “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has died at his New York home. He was 77. Lynne’s death was confirmed Monday by longtime business partner Robert Shaye, who told Variety that Lynne’s family had informed him of Lynne’s passing [...]

  • Marisa Liston

    Sony Veteran Marisa Liston to Lead Lionsgate Movie Publicity

    Lionsgate has named Sony Pictures veteran executive Marisa Liston to lead all feature film and motion picture group publicity and communications strategy. Liston, who departed Sony in late 2018 after 17 years, has been assigned the newly created title of head of global earned media and communications. She will oversee domestic and international feature film [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content