Top 5 Reasons to Shoot Your Inspirational Content in Louisiana
By J. Patrick Mulhearn, Louisiana Economic Development
With more than 40 million visitors to our state each year, Louisiana is world-famous for our hospitality. But, many visitors are surprised to learn is that 78.8% of Louisiana residents were actually born in Louisiana. That is the highest percentage of native-born residents of any state in the nation. Why do so many of us choose to stay and return home? A lot of words that start with the letter “f’ come to mind…including food, family, faith, fellowship, festivals, football, and even world-class fishing. Over the past two decades, thanks to one of the nation’s most tried and tested tax incentive programs, that list has grown to include filmmaking.
Here are five reasons your company should be making faith-based and inspirational films and television series in Louisiana.
- Louisiana’s Tax Incentives
Since 2002, the Louisiana Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit has attracted hundreds of productions of all sizes to the Bayou State. In 2017, the incentive was improved to provide for a 25 percent across-the-board tax credit for all production related expenditures, an additional 10 percent across-the-board tax credit if the screenwriter is a Louisiana resident, an additional 5 percent across-the-board tax credit if the production bases and films mostly outside of the New Orleans area, and an additional 15 percent payroll tax credit for all Louisiana residents employed by the production. The credits are stackable up to a maximum of 40 percent of qualified expenditures, and credits can be sold back to the State of Louisiana for a net of $.88 on the dollar. The more you save on production, the more you can put on the screen. And, that translates to a better final product to share with the world. For more information, visit LouisianaEntertainment.gov
- Louisiana Rewards Permanent Job Creation
Louisiana does not just want your business during production. We want your business year-round. The Entertainment Jobs Creation Program now gives a company payroll tax credit of 15 percent or 20 percent of annual W2 wages for companies that create at least five new entertainment-related jobs in Louisiana. This credit is above and beyond the production credits mentioned earlier. From development to distribution, no other state rewards long-term commitment and permanent job creation like Louisiana.
- Louisiana’s Lower Cost of Living and Doing Business
Obviously, it is more expensive to live in Los Angeles or New York than in Louisiana. But, the differences are staggering when you consult the most recent Cost of Living Index (COLI). After-tax income of $60,512 in Shreveport-Bossier City is the same as $100,000 in after-tax income in Los Angeles. Housing in Baton Rouge will cost you 61 percent less than in Los Angeles. Earning $100,000 a year after taxes in New York is same as earning $40,481 after taxes in New Orleans. An income of $100,000 in Atlanta is same as $88,000 in Lafayette. The bottom line: Louisiana is better for your bottom line
- Louisiana’s Got Talent. And Crew. And Stages. And Locations
Practice makes perfect. Hundreds of productions over nearly two decades have made Louisiana’s seasoned entertainment workforce, both in front of and behind the camera, one of the best on the planet. Awards and nominations have been plentiful. In fact, Louisiana has averaged at least one nominee for Best Picture at the Academy Awards every year since 2012. Two of those films, 12 Years a Slave and Green Book, took home the Oscar for Best Picture. Louisiana’s mild winters allow for principal photography on location throughout the year, and the diversity of our locations has allowed Louisiana to double for everything from Hong Kong to New York to the Middle East. With purpose-built stages and the equipment and resources you would expect from a major production hub, Louisiana can help any filmmaker or producer do more for less.
- Louisiana has Joie de Vivre
Joie de vivre is a French phrase that literally translates to the “joy of living.” The people of Louisiana have it and are known to cherish and celebrate life. It is a part of our culture, which is legendary for being so welcoming and unique. From the extra love and care that goes into our food to the soul that shines through in our musicians, the joie de vivre of our people makes all the difference. Faith and fellowship certainly play a vital a role in our culture and the way we treat our guests. According to U.S. News and World Report, Louisiana is ranked as the 4th “most religious state in the nation” behind only Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Seventy-one percent of adults in Louisiana are considered highly religious, and 84 percent of Louisiana residents identify as Christian. Faith-based and inspirational filmmakers will feel right at home in a state that is arguably the Bible Belt’s most independent film-friendly locale.
**Editor’s Note: J. Patrick Mulhearn is the Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives, Office of Business Development, Louisiana Economic Development
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