Hollywood South keeps the cameras coming from California
Don Ames Reporting
Hollywood South continues to roll, with non-stop camera action in the Crescent City and surrounding areas.
And, the local industry doesn't feel threatened by California's efforts to keep more productions at home in the Golden State.
California lawmakers want to extend a Hollywood tax break to keep the work on the west coast.
"Quite frankly, that program has been in place for some time now, and it really hasn't impacted Louisiana's business at all," says Chris Stelly, with Louisiana's Office of Entertainment Industry Development.
He says film makers like taking their projects on the road.
"Most feature films are shot 'on-location' in other areas of the world," says Stelly. "And Louisiana is a beneficiary of most of that business."
He says Hurricane Isaac didn't stop the cameras from rolling.
"No, Isaac absolutely didn't cause any disruption. Of course, they always plan contingency days. We were able to really help them formulate some contingency plans and take a couple of days off, then return to the city once they assessed the situation. So it didn't really cause any major disruption, whatsoever."
Stelly says plans for several big projects are in the works, but couldn't name them all.
"I wish I was at liberty to say, at this point. But we've got a lot...some big things coming up."
He was able to mention Nu Image/Millennium's feature film 'Home Front' that's about to start shooting later this month through Thanksgiving.
'The Monkey's Paw' starts shooting later this month and Spike Lee's feature film 'Oldboy' will shoot here in October.
'The Butler', starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey is just wrapping up.
Stelly says a lot of the movie makers, and the stars, have fallen in love with New Orleans...Sylvester Stallone, for example.
"It does appear that way," Stelly says. "He came back with 'Expendables 2' for a little bit. And then, of course, he did his most recent one, called 'The Tomb'.
'The Tomb', with Arnold Schwarzenegger, comes out later this month. And Stallone will play a New Orleans hitman in 'Headshot,' that starts filming here next May.
A proposal being discussed by California legislators would extend a $100 million-a-year tax credit for film and television production for two years, until 2017. It requires the independent Legislative Analyst's Office to issue a report by January 2015 on the tax credit's economic effects.
A committee analysis said the credit will cost California $22 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year alone.
More than 40 other states, including Louisiana, offer production credits. Many of those are more enticing than California's.
The Los Angeles Times reported recently that just two of the 23 one-hour television dramas for the upcoming season were shot in Los Angeles County, with most production moving to New York and other states. New York also remains a main competitor to California's film industry.