When Louisiana's film production tax credits went into effect a decade ago, "Hollywood South" was just an experiment. Ten years later, it's now a billion-dollar industry in Louisiana.
The film tax credits began ten years ago with a simple plan: create a new industry for the state.
"We needed an incentive to really attract an industry that is natural for Louisiana," said Chris Stelly, executive director of the state's film office now known as "Louisiana Entertainment."
Stelly said "Hollywood South" has since become a billion-dollar industry. Studios once had to bring their own crews from Hollywood to do most of the work, now local studios are thriving. More than 300 motion pictures have been shot in Louisiana in the ten years since the film tax credits began.
Stelly says the program proved so successful that similar tax incentives began for other entertainment-based industries.
"We're starting to see a lot of Broadway shows originate and launch from Louisiana, we're starting to get some major tours coming into the state, not to mention all the great stuff that we're doing on the digital-interactive side, so we're seeing companies locate here."
Brad Pitt's production company recently began a new project in New Orleans, a new Mark Wahlberg vehicle is in production, and Stelly said more is to come.