Motion picture productions filming in the Baton Rouge area spent an estimated $196 million here in 2010 and accounted for 33,500 hotel and motel room nights, according to an economic impact report released to the Baton Rouge Film Commission Tuesday.
In all, 26 films and television projects were made in Baton Rouge last year, resulting in an estimated Louisiana payroll of $116 million.
"Our Baton Rouge Film Commission has done a tremendous job selling our city as a great place for production," said Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden, "and they have set even higher goals for the future."
Holden said Baton Rouge Film Commission Executive Director Amy Mitchell-Smith works closely with his office to aggressively pursue projects and overcome any obstacles which could send film productions to another city.
"With our success, Baton Rouge is building an experienced workforce that makes filming here even more attractive to the television and movie industry," Holden said. "Although the state tax credits help, we still have to be creative enough to show that Baton Rouge can provide diverse locations, top notch infrastructure, and the ability to manage the logistical challenges that arise with projects of all budgetary ranges. This year, Third Street was transformed into a street in Hong Kong and the city-parish provided a location appropriate for a NASA laboratory, which showcases our wide range of capabilities; but we still compete every day to be successful with this industry."
Nearly two-thirds of the local spend for 2010 came from two blockbuster projects – the vampire-themed fantasy romance, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn,” and “Battleship,” a science-fiction thriller based on the popular Milton Bradley board game.
According to the state Office of Entertainment Industry Development records, “Battleship” spent an estimated $67.6 million in Baton Rouge in 2010, and had a Louisiana payroll of $37.7 million.
The state records show that Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn had an estimated local spend of $65.5 million in the Baton Rouge area in 2010, and is estimated to spend another $32.7 million in 2011 as it continues filming here.
"What sets Baton Rouge apart is our continued passion and commitment to the motion picture industry," said Mitchell-Smith. "As a result our film commission office is extremely responsive in catering to the vast needs specific to each and every production."