Saturday, November 29, 2008

Current Filming in Louisiana 12/10/08

Current Filming in Louisiana!

Cop-Out Pre-Production Baton Rouge

Burning Palms Post Production Baton Rouge

Prodigy, Pre-Production New Orleans

Acceptance Filming Shreveport Resumes 318-682-5671

Skateland, Filming Thru December 3, Shreveport Resumes

Fight or Flight Filming Lafayette

The Expendables, Pre-production, Shreveport LA, New Orleans?

ZombieLand, Pre-Production Baton Rouge May have moved to Atlanta, Resumes by fax 337-706-8971

Treme, Pre-Production, New Orleans Resumes by fax(Hiring crew)410-986-0029

My Own Love Song, Filming New Orleans Resumes

Welcome to the Rileys, Pre-Production New Orleans (Wrapped)

Alabama Moon, Pre- Production New Orleans Resumes

Midnight Bayou, Pre-Production New Orleans Resumes (Wrapped)

Tribute, Pre-Production New Orleans Resumes

Football Documentary, Pre-Production New Orleans Resumes

Night of the Demons, Pre- ProductionNew Orleans (Wrapped)

House of Bones, Pre-Production Lafayette Resumes by fax 337-706-8971
Bullet Films staff for 2009: Sound Effects Editors Dialog Editors Re-recording mixers Colorists 2D Vfx Artists 3D Vfx Artists Web designers Graphic Artists/Concept Artists Assistant Editors Editors Composers Cinematographers Send Resumes to:

Camp Ranch, Post-Production Baton Rouge

Menage a Trois, Pre-Production New Orleans

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Louisiana Wave Studio

Raleigh Makes Strategic Alliance with FBT Film & Entertainment, The Celtic Media Centre and Blueroom Post in Louisiana Production

Fresh off Marvel Studios Deal, Raleigh Makes Strategic Alliance with FBT Film & Entertainment, The Celtic Media Centre and Blueroom Post in Louisiana Production

Producers could save up to 35% of what it would cost to shoot elsewhere. Raleigh Studios has bolstered its presence in Louisiana by teaming up with FBT Film & Entertainment, an affiliate of First Bank and Trust, and Blueroom Post to further service productions with Raleigh Studios, Baton Rouge at The Celtic Media Centre and also with a location in New Orleans.

Los Angeles, CA (Vocus/PRWEB ) November 6, 2008 -- Raleigh Studios has bolstered its presence in Louisiana by teaming up with FBT Film & Entertainment, an affiliate of First Bank and Trust, and Blueroom Post to further service productions with Raleigh Studios, Baton Rouge at The Celtic Media Centre and also with a location in New Orleans. This unique union brings together the full breadth of production services Raleigh Studios has to offer; the extensive hands on production experience to help producers maximize "Louisiana spend" for qualifying tax credits and finance options of FBT; and full service post-production services with Blueroom Post. The deal brings together every aspect of production all under one roof.
"With Hollywood Rentals, the facility at The Celtic Media Centre in Baton Rouge and now FBT, Blue Room and a New Orleans location we can truly be the one stop Louisiana solution for any production," said Michael Moore, President of Raleigh Studios. "We're very excited to be associated with such a talented roster of companies."
"We couldn't be happier about this new strategic alliance with Raleigh Studios at The Celtic Media Centre and Blueroom Post," said Leonard Alsfeld, FBT Film & Entertainment president and CEO. "Their reputation and history with all aspects of production services speaks for itself. This makes our clients and prospective clients that much more enthusiastic about taking advantage of all the wonderful benefits of filming in Louisiana."
Planning is underway for Raleigh and Celtic to work with FBT and Blueroom Post to develop operations in New Orleans that will accommodate production offices, shooting and post. The new operation will have the full support of Raleigh Studios Baton Rouge at The Celtic Media Centre, which already has the largest soundstages in Louisiana. The Baton Rouge and New Orleans locations will compliment each other with new post production space that will provide video and audio post services. Having Raleigh facilities in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Los Angeles will provide filmmakers with creative solutions they won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Raleigh Studios is the largest operator of independent studios in the country, with locations in Hollywood, Manhattan Beach (the new home of Marvel Studios), Playa Vista, Baton Rouge and Budapest. Raleigh's parent company also owns the premier supplier of lighting and grip gear, Hollywood Rentals, with locations in Los Angeles, Charlotte, Orlando and Baton Rouge. Raleigh also runs Raleigh Film, the production services arm of Raleigh Studios, which crews, scouts locations, budgets and line produces TV, feature and commercial projects in Budapest and Baton Rouge. This lets productions take advantage of the considerable packaging opportunities Raleigh can offer through its multiple locations and service companies. This can appeal to a slate of films or a production where you need multiple locations.
FBT Film & Entertainment staffs offices in New Orleans and Los Angeles and helps maximize producers qualifying "Louisiana spend". They work with the Louisiana Film Commissioner's office, statewide local municipalities, and film liaisons to lower production costs and get more dollars "up on the screen". Louisiana's production tax incentives are completely transferable and FBT Film is well positioned to assist out of state production companies (with no Louisiana tax liability) in selling their credits for cash on the open market. The financing institution’s alliance with Raleigh Studios allows it to offer unique solutions to producers looking to save up to 35% over what it would cost to shoot elsewhere.
Blueroom Post is headquartered at Raleigh Studios, Manhattan Beach. The company also operates a satellite office at Raleigh Studios, Hollywood that provides ADR recording for on-lot productions. Post services at Blueroom include offline editorial, standard def and HD online finishing, visual effects and compositing, DVD and Blu-ray authoring, sound editorial and mixing in addition to dubbing, duplication and delivery services. All services will be offered through its Louisiana locations, Raleigh Studios Baton Rouge at The Celtic Media Centre.
Visit Raleigh Studios for information on Raleigh and their studio operations.Visit FBT Film for information on shooting in Louisiana.

Contact: Michael Newport
Raleigh Studios Marketing and Client Development

Made in Louisiana by Todd Longwell

By Todd Longwell
Nov 20, 2008, ET
Commission infoOffice of Entertainment Industry DevelopmentChristopher Stelly, director of film and television1051 N. Third St.Baton Rouge, LA 70802Phone: 225-342-5403E-mail: chris.stelly@la.govWeb: lafilm.orgIncentives:25% tax credit on in-state production spend10% additional tax credit for Louisiana production hires40% motion picture infrastructure tax credit25% tax credit on sound recording productions and infrastructure10%-20% tax credit for digital interactive media productions (Percentage is on a sliding scale over tax years one through six.)

The bar at the Hilton Shreveport was buzzing with Hollywood players in the early months of 2008. Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac were in town to shoot Dimension Films' "Soul Men," and Michael Cera and Olivia Wilde were there for the prehistoric comedy "The Year One" (Sony). That's not exactly on a par with Morton's on past Oscar nights, but it's pretty impressive for a nondescript watering hole in a medium-sized Louisiana burg that many industryites have considered part of "flyover country" in years past. "It was sort of like the studio commissary," says "Soul Men" producer David Friendly of the scene in the Hilton bar. "Everybody was in there, all the time." On the streets, he'd bump into Oliver Stone scouting Lionsgate's "W." or cast and crew working on MGM's "The Longshots," starring Ice Cube. Friendly's story may not bring cheer to film workers based in Los Angeles, but it illustrates how film and TV production has continued to flourish in Louisiana in spite of stiff competition from states that have recently enacted competing incentive programs.As of October, productions have created more than 2,000 positions in Shreveport and northwest Louisiana in 2008. New Orleans has also been hopping, hosting Universal's "Cirque du Freak," New Line's "Final Destination 4," the indie "I Love You Phillip Morris," starring Jim Carrey, and the new Disney Channel series "Imagination Movers" (with 97% of the cast and crew made up of New Orleans residents)."We have seen an exponential increase in productions (statewide)," observes Christopher Stelly, director of film and television for the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development. Stelly estimates that, as of September, the state had hosted 60-70 film and TV productions in 2008, whereas in 2007 the state had 53 for the entire year. The reason for the success? Louisiana's 25% tax credit is not the most generous in the country, but the state got into the incentive game early (2002) and has displayed a bankable consistency."People have been successful in getting their money back from the state in a timely manner," says Joseph D. Chianese, vp business development for Entertainment Partners, a leading provider of payroll and production management services. "And because of the sheer volume of productions that have been going into the state, it has been able to develop a local crew base, which is important when you're bringing a production somewhere."Stelly says the number of skilled crew members in Louisiana has grown 400% since 2002, and it now has enough local crew to staff eight or nine productions.Another draw is the state's mushrooming physical infrastructure, which is arguably one of the largest in the country outside of New York and California.In Shreveport, there are three major soundstage complexes up and running (StageWorks, Stage West and Mansfield Studios) and another under construction (Millennium Studios), while just outside New Orleans, there's the Nims Center. In Baton Rouge, there's the Celtic Media Center, the first studio complex in the state designed and built from the ground up for motion picture production. It can be argued that a similarly attractive mix of incentives, crew and infrastructure can be found elsewhere (e.g., New York), but the people of Louisiana hold a trump card that is uniquely theirs, and its name is New Orleans."You can still shoot in New Orleans for the 1800s and the early 1900s and barely change a thing," says Cean Chaffin, producer of Paramount's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which shot in and around the city. It's no secret that beauty can come with a price. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 has inspired filmmakers to steer clear of New Orleans during the peak of hurricane season or simply base their productions in cities to the north like Shreveport, which has effectively diversified and expanded the state's film production economy. It has also made the state more eager to court film production and related businesses, according to Jason Sciavicco, founder of Horizon Entertainment, who produces "docu-reality" sports series "Two-a-days" (MTV) and "Varsity, Inc." (ESPN)."I've been to a lot of different states, and I don't think there's another in the country that is more aggressive in wanting to help films," says Sciavicco, who recently formed a joint venture with Louisiana Media Co. to move Horizon from Atlanta to New Orleans. "I think that's because they need the help right now." As far as film and production goes, it couldn't be progressing much better for Louisiana, save for one area: postproduction. "After production wraps, in most cases, studio-driven and higher independent projects usually end up going back to the coast, be it New York or L.A., to complete their projects," says Sergio Lopez, executive producer of New Orleans-based production and post facility Storyville. Stelly says that, with current technology, directors can stay at home and communicate in real time with an editor working in Louisiana. It may seem an unlikely scenario, but then again, 10 years ago, no one foresaw Louisiana becoming a film production center. If it takes another 10 years to establish the state as a post hotbed, so be it."We approach it like we're not doing it for a return on our investment in terms of years," Stelly says. "We're looking at it in terms of decades. We really want to build an industry, and we're doing it."

States Film Production Incentives Cause Jitters

October 12, 2008

LOS ANGELES — Already on the hook for billions to bail out Wall Street, taxpayers are also finding themselves stuck with a growing tab for state programs intended to increase local film production.
One of the most shocking bills has come due in Louisiana, where residents are financing a hefty share of Brad Pitt’s next movie — $27,117,737, to be exact, which the producers will receive by cashing or selling off valuable tax credits.
As the number of movies made under these plans multiplied in recent years, the state money turned into a welcome rescue plan for Hollywood at a time when private investors were fleeing the movies. But the glamour business has not always been kind to those who pick up the costs, and states are moving to rein in their largess that has allowed producers to be reimbursed for all manner of expenditures, whether the salaries of stars, the rental of studio space or meals for the crew.
Louisiana, one of the most assertive players in the subsidy game, wound up covering that outsize piece of the nearly $167 million budget of Mr. Pitt’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” — the state’s biggest movie payout to date — when producers for Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers qualified the coming movie, a special-effects drama, under an incentive that has since been tightened. Separately, Louisiana’s former film commissioner is set to be sentenced in January to as much as 15 years in federal prison for taking bribes to inflate film budgets (though not that of “Button”) and, hence, pay higher subsidies.
Michigan, its own budget sagging, is in the middle of a hot political fight over a generous 40 percent rebate on expenditures to filmmakers that was carried out, with little opposition, only last April. Producers of films for studios like Warner Brothers and the Weinstein Company rushed to cash in, just as homegrown businesses were squeezed by a new business tax and surcharge. Rebellious legislators from both parties are now looking to put a cap on the state’s annual film spending, which some have estimated could quickly hit $200 million a year.
In Rhode Island, meanwhile, the rules have toughened considerably. That happened after The Providence Journal reported in March that producers of a straight-to-DVD picture called “Hard Luck,” which starred Wesley Snipes and Cybill Shepherd, had picked up $2.65 million in state tax credits on a budget of $11 million, even though it had reported paying only $1.9 million of the total to Rhode Islanders.
“With this much money involved, there’s going to be a temptation to hype budgets,” said Peter Dekom, a veteran entertainment business lawyer who is an adviser to New Mexico’s incentive program.
The vogue for state film subsidies appears to have started in Colorado early this decade, with a briefly financed Defense Against Canada law that was devised to win production back from Vancouver and Toronto. Louisiana and New Mexico soon came on board.
By this year, about 40 states were offering significant subsidies, turning the United States into what the Incentives Office, a consulting firm in Santa Monica, Calif., has called the New Bulgaria. It is a reference to what was once the film industry’s favorite low-cost production site.
Virtually all of the programs use a state tax system to reimburse producers for money spent on movies or TV shows shot in the state. Some, like Michigan’s, simply refund a percentage of expenditures to the producer. Others, like Louisiana’s, issue a tax credit that can reduce the taxes a production pays or be sold to someone else. Either way, the state gives up revenue that otherwise would be collected to put money in the producer’s pockets.
Advocates, of course, argue that these programs create jobs.
One of the country’s most successful programs is in New Mexico, which has backed movies like the Oscar-winning “No Country for Old Men” and next year’s “Terminator Salvation,” the latest sequel in the action series, with a reported budget of $200 million.
New Mexico officials boast of having used a 25 percent production cost rebate to build a local film industry that has attracted more than $600 million in direct spending since 2003, and an estimated $1.8 billion in total financial impact, as of last June. And in fiscal year 2008, the productions in the state generated 142,577 days of employment, up from 25,293 in 2004.
Elsewhere, however, critics have sharply challenged the notion that state subsidies for the film business can ever buy more than momentary glitter.
“There’s no evidence yet that this is a particularly efficient or effective way to create jobs,” said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.
The nonprofit center reviews budget and tax policies in Massachusetts, which is spending about $60 million a year on producer credits. A recent study by Mr. Berger’s center pointed out that the state’s film credit, at 25 percent, is five times higher than that offered to those who build in designated economic opportunity areas, and more than eight times the state’s standard investment tax credit.
Until two years ago, Louisiana’s program offered a 15 percent credit for virtually the entire budget of a qualified film (and more for Louisiana resident wages), including money that may have been spent out of state. Things were fast and loose enough in Louisiana that Mark Smith, who oversaw the program, pleaded guilty last year to taking $67,500 in bribes to inflate budgets for a film production company that was not named by the authorities.
Kathy English, a spokeswoman for the United States attorney’s office in New Orleans, said the case remained open.
Louisiana’s new rules offer a larger credit, but only on spending within the state. That made the incentive less attractive for big-budget movies, like “Button,” which was done under old rules, and could recover parts of star salaries and other expenses that left Louisiana. But it has drawn a welter of smaller movies and TV shows, 70 of which have been shot so far in 2008, up from 56 the year before.
“All areas of the state have prospered as a result; everyone sees it,” said Sherri McConnell, director of Louisiana’s Office of Entertainment Industry Development. (Ms. McConnell said she did not expect to have a detailed picture of economic impact until the completion of a planned study, early next year.)
Others are not so sure. “There’s no way you can say this makes money for the public” treasury, said Greg Albrecht, chief economist for Louisiana’s legislative fiscal office.
In 2006, the last year for which it has complete figures, the state granted about $121 million in credits. Mr. Albrecht estimates that only about 18 percent of that is ever recovered in taxes on expanded economic activity.
“It’s an expensive way to create jobs,” Mr. Albrecht said. But he noted that Louisiana, like New Mexico, can afford it, thanks to rising oil and gasoline revenue. “We’re happy as larks right now to do this.”
Not so happy are some folks up in Michigan, where a State Senate committee recently moved to cap the state’s film rebates at an aggregate of $50 million a year.
“It’s just horrible right now,” Mike Bishop, a Republican state senator, said of Michigan’s financial condition. Mr. Bishop initially backed the film incentive. But he grew alarmed at outlays that he estimated could quickly exceed $110 million a year to subsidize movies like “Gran Torino,” directed by Clint Eastwood, and “Youth in Revolt,” a comedy by the filmmaker Miguel Arteta.
Anthony Wenson, chief operating officer of the Michigan Film Office, said the actual amount of credits granted was only about $25 million so far. The annual number is impossible to reckon, he said, because plans for future projects are in flux.
In any case, Nancy Cassis, another Republican who was the only Michigan senator to oppose the incentives when they began last spring, said she expected to see them capped with bipartisan backing later this year. And she does not look for Hollywood to hang around when the money dries up.
“These are not long-term jobs,” Ms. Cassis said. “If just one state offers more, they’ll be out of here before you can say ‘lickety-split.’ ”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Film, recording credits bringing business to state

Some concerned about liability
By Mike Hasten • • October 23, 2008 2:00 am

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana continues to prosper from the film tax credit program, but state lawmakers are concerned about a potential $1.4 billion liability if applicants build all the film-related facilities that are in the planning stages.

Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret says it's "definitely not realistic" to think the $3.6 billion in proposed projects — studios, sound stages and pre- and post-production facilities — will be built. Instead of $1.4 billion, Moret believes "the maximum exposure would be in the hundreds of millions," he said.
The program offers a tax break of 40 percent of construction cost.
Members of legislative panels that oversee tax credits complained that proposed rules for implementing credits for building facilities are so strict that few projects could take advantage of the breaks.
An attorney general's opinion states any expenditure that qualifies for the tax break must be made within two years of application approval. Moret said that opinion agrees with the way the department interprets the law.
Robert Day, a Baton Rouge developer who received approval in December 2007 to build a $665 million project called Red Stick Studios, said "we can't build the entire project by the end of next year."
Tom Clark, Day's legal adviser, got Louisiana Economic Development to ask for another attorney general's opinion, which Moret said he "would consider" when drafting final rules to be presented to the committee in about two months. He would not commit to changing the two-year limit if Attorney General Buddy Caldwell issues a revised opinion allowing more time.
"The success of the film industry in Louisiana has little to do with infrastructure," he said. "As long as the state is investing 40 percent in the projects, we have to be careful."
If the rules stay as they are, "the unfortunate alternative is to litigate," Clark said.
Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, said the original legislation creating the break was clear and did not establish such a short timeline, but a conference committee version that was finally approved created confusion. "If you read the law, it can be interpreted either way," he said.
Adley said the Legislature wanted to "tighten up" the original version because it left room for studios to continue building and stretching the tax breaks for years. "It was not our intention to carry that 40 percent forever."
The legislation was structured so the Legislature would have to approve the rules, he said.
Moret said the state needs to keep a tight rein on the program because it is essentially paying 40 percent of the cost of studios. He said he's concerned about overbuilding studios that won't be utilized and the state not getting a return on its investment.
Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Livonia, told Moret "It seems that you're at odds with what we want to do" — build more studios.
Moret said he favors building more studios if they are needed.
Attorney Phyllis Simms, representing Shreveport's Robinson Film Center and Louisiana Wave Studio, as well as other studios, questioned a provision in the law and rules that state studios turned down for tax breaks can only appeal to Moret or his successor as Louisiana Economic Development secretary.
"It's nonsensical that your only appeal is to the body that denied your application," she said.
Adley said the committee has oversight on any rejections, but Simms pointed out that it cannot override the secretary's decisions.
Sherri McConnell, director of Film and Video under Louisiana Economic Development, said Louisiana was the first state to offer tax credits; however, 39 other states have implemented some form of credits to compete with the state.
"We're still the preferred place to shoot," she said, but other states are competing. And with credits for sound production, video games and soon infrastructure development and live music productions, "we're the only place that offers it all."
Rick Seaton, assistant to Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, agreed with McConnell and said, "We're the top dog."
He said that because of tax breaks totaling 25 percent on the amount of money spent filming in the state, Louisiana was selected as the site of 10 percent of all movies filmed in the United States in 2007 — third behind California and New York.
Seaton said Shreveport is a popular site for filming, but it has lost "a number of films because we don't have studios with adequate height."
Lampton Enochs, of Shreveport, head of Louisiana Production Service Consultants, told the panel "production incentives are key to continue growing the industry."
Enochs said his company has worked on 18 projects and three television series "because of the incentives."

Louisiana Film, Movie and Television Industry part 2

Louisiana Film, Movie and Television Industry

Current Filming in Louisiana!

Skateland, Filming Thru December 3, Shreveport Resumes

The Expendables, Pre-production, Shreveport LA

ZombieLand, Pre-Production Baton Rouge Resumes by fax 337-706-8971

Treme, Pre-Production, New Orleans Resumes by fax 410-986-0029

My Own Love Song, Filming New Orleans Resumes

Welcome to the Rileys, Pre-Production New Orleans Resumes

Alabama Moon, Pre- Production New Orleans Resumes

Midnight Bayou, Pre-Production New Orleans Resumes

Tribute, Pre-Production New Orleans Resumes

Football Documentary, Pre-Production New Orleans Resumes

Night of the Demons, Pre- ProductionNew Orleans

House of Bones, Pre-Production Lafayette Resumes by fax 337-706-8971

Camp Ranch, Pre- Production Baton Rouge

Menage a Trois, Pre-Production New Orleans