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Posted: Monday, 20 May 2013 8:53AM

Lt. Gov. believes Hollywood South safe for now

Hollywood South may be safe, for now. The budget that Louisiana senators get to work on this week makes some changes to the tax credit program for film and TV production, but state leaders say the changes won't shut the cameras off and darken the lights.

At one point, lawmakers were considering a fifteen percent reduction in the state film tax credits, and some worried that would be too much, costing a lot of what Lieutenant Governor. Jay Dardenne says has been a valuable business.

"It's been tremendous both from a practical standpoint and an intangible standpoint in marketing Louisiana," Dardenne said of the film business that has grown to make Louisiana tops in the nation behind California for filming.

Dardenne says the House instead went with changes he says close loopholes and shouldn't scare off business.

"It's a reduction in the budget, it's a reduction in the credits that are given in some of the areas of the motion picture tax credit, but it's a smart way to do it," he said.

No fewer than eleven film or TV projects are in production in the New Orleans area, or in the pre-production stage. They include:

* Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, starring Gary Oldman and Keri Russel

* The Fox feature film Devil's Due starring Zach Gilford and Allison Miller

* The feature film Heat starring Jason Statham and Sofia Vergara

* Darko Entertainment's feature film North of Hell starring Katherine Heigl and Patrick Wilson

* A yet-to-be-titled detective series produced by HBO Entertainment and starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson

* Independent feature film Return to Sender starring Rosamund Pike and Shiloh Fernandez

* Independent feature film Jingle Doggie

* ABC Studios television pilot Reckless

* Mandalay Pictures' high school football drama When the Game Stands Tall, starring Jim Caviezal and Michael Chiklis

* FX television anthology American Horror Story: Coven

* TV series Pitbulls & Parolees Season 5

The "HollywoodSouth Blog" reports that Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is also being filmed in New Orleans.

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