LA vs. L.A.
Louisiana officials: "Come shoot here!"
Yes, a category 4 hurricane just leveled New Orleans and its surrounding areas, and yes, many are still homeless and jobless, but Louisiana lawmakers are determined to woo Hollywood back.
This week, a delegate of state and city officials from Louisiana are making the rounds in L.A. to talk to Hollywood types about the state's economic development recovery strategy and tax incentives for film.
Two productions from Touchstone Pictures that were thwarted by Hurricane Katrina are already making their way back to Louisiana: "Deja Vu" starring Denzel Washington will start filming in New Orleans in late Jan or early Feb of next year, and "The Guardian" starring Kevin Costner is set to start shooting in Shreveport in early December.
Apparently, Louisiana's not the only state hobnobbing with production folks; the governor Kentucky was doing just the same a few weeks ago. With all this competition, California officials have been doing what they can to stop all the running away. Two weeks ago, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa proposed fee waivers for filming at City Hall, and hopes to develop more incentives in conjunction with the state. More wishful thinking came from Jack Kyser of the L.A. County Economic Development Corp., who is skeptical of Louisiana's ability to lure back productions, at least in the short term, because of the lack of infrastructure.
Hmmm, free filming at a City Hall undamaged by any hurricane seems pretty weak compared to a whopping 25% tax credit in a national disaster area. Producers will endure almost any level of hell or high water to come in under budget.
>> Louisiana's ready to roll [L.A. Daily News, 10/28/05]
>> Mayor: Waive City Hall filming fee [L.A. Daily News, 10/21/05]
>> Louisiana Film Industry: Open for Business
>> South Carolina: "We don't want to look like vultures"
>> Katrina Devastates Hollywood South
>> Hurricanes & Movies
>> The Golden Age of Louisiana
>> The Truth About Louisiana