Saturday, September 1, 2012

Louisiana-based Hollywood Trucks recognized among fast growing companies nationwide by Inc. Magazine

August 23, 2012 by:
Skipper Bond,

Hollywood Trucks, LLC has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in North America. The entertainment transportation company is ranked #3 of fastest growing companies within the state of Louisiana, and #15 among all national Logistics & Transportation companies in the United States. The company ranked #676 overall in the Inc. 5000.

“We are humbled and thankful to be included in such a prestigious list,” says Andre Champagne, founder and CEO of Hollywood Trucks. “This could not have happened without the dedication of our team and the cooperation of Louisiana Economic Development.” Louisiana Economic Development (LED) is the state agency that manages the motion picture investor tax credit program, the most successful tax incentive in the world that targets the film and television industry.

Founded in late 2007, Hollywood Trucks has grown from two employees and seven vehicles to 15 employees and over 300 vehicles. The company’s rapid expansion will continue over the next two years as more than 100 units are added to the Louisiana fleet, following by domestic expansion into Park City, Utah and Los Angeles, California, along with an international expansion into Toulouse, Haute-Garonne, France and Shanghai, China, a market quickly emerging as an economic force in the entertainment industry.

“The whole company is excited about embarking on our largest expansion to date. It’s been very invigorating,” says Champagne. “And as we expand, we will continue our mission of deploying new products previously never available to the entertainment industry.”

Hollywood Trucks, LLC is based at Second Line Stages in New Orleans, and Raleigh Studios at the Celtic Media Centre in Baton Rouge. The company is a member of PGA Green network, an arm of the Producer’s Guild of America that promotes environmentally sustainable practices within the film and television industry. The company also has an A plus rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). More information is available at

For over 30 years, Inc. Magazine has been the premier print publication for business owners and entrepreneurs. Introduced in 1982, the Inc. 500 celebrates the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States. In 2007, the list was expanded to create the Inc. 5000 to provide a broader and deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial landscape. More information is available at

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Filminglouisiana August 2012

Filming Louisiana for August 2012

House of Horror, Baton Rouge
Whiskey Bay, Baton Rouge
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Shreveport
Aztec Warriors, New Orleans
 The Hail Mary, Baton Rouge or fax resumes to 818.878.3911.
The Pendant, Shreveport
Twelve Years a Slave, New Orleans
Two Guns, New Orleans
White House Taken (aka Olympus Has Fallen)Shreveport
The Butler, New Orleans
12 Years a Slave:
Pitbulls and Parolees Season 4 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Benefits of Louisiana Tax Incentives to the State

The BaxStarr Consulting Group (BSCG) was hired by Louisiana Economic Development (LED) to conduct an economic and fiscal assessment of the State’s entertainment incentives between 2008 and 2010. Accordingly, BSCG staff compiled and analyzed data provided by the State
1 and data collected from its own field research with business and economic development specialists throughout the state. This document reflects not only the current state of the entertainment industry, but takes both a historical look to show how far Louisiana has come, and a forward view to highlight growth opportunities. The economic impact data and analysis contained in the following pages are not intended as a thorough economic assessment of the state’s entire entertainment industry, merely of activity associated with the incentives.
Key Findings
The key findings from BSCG’s economic and fiscal impact analysis are
1.Output multipliers
2. Every $1 of tax credits issued generates the following estimated total economic output: • Film production - $5.71
• Sound recording - $6.47
• Digital media - $6.90
• Live performance - $7.41
2.Louisiana Entertainment Industry Economic Impact • An average of about $710 million per year in economic output for 2008 and 2009
• Approximately $1.08 billion statewide in economic output for 2010 alone, representing a 52 percent increase above the annual average for years 2008 and 2009
1 Data provided by LED and the Legislative Fiscal Office – collectively hereafter referred to as the "State".
2 Based upon actual data from 2008 and 2009, and estimated data for 2010.
Key Trends
National trends in the motion picture industry are not entirely reflected in Louisiana, which presents something of a positive anomaly. While wages and production numbers shrank nationally, Louisiana saw overall increases since the previous impact analysis.
(The last analysis, covering 2005-2007, was released in 2009 and will hereafter be referred to as either "the previous analysis" or "the 2009 analysis.")
The digital media and sound recording industries have continued to grow since the previous impact analysis was completed. Sound has grown relatively slowly, while the digital interactive media sector is beginning to take hold with an increasing and diversifying demand and market for these products. Digital interactive has also now gone beyond the primary focus of video games.
As the newest sector for Louisiana’s entertainment industry development efforts, live performance represents the least developed industry, although interest in the program is growing, and the credits for infrastructure have been the basis for almost $100 million in investment.

Motion Picture Industry
Louisiana’s flagship incentive program has been a catalyst for substantial film production growth statewide. This increase is reflected in four key areas:
1) number of certified productions (i.e. films/TV series etc. being shot in Louisiana),
2) percentage of overall budgets spent in Louisiana,
3) dollars spent in Louisiana (aka in-state "spend") and
4) wages.
Only 200 productions qualified for tax credits in the six year period between 2002 and 2007, representing an average of about 33 per year. This increased to 275 productions in the three year period 2008-2010, an average of about 92 productions per year.
This represents an increase of 175 percent in the annual volume of films being produced in Louisiana.
Likewise, the proportion of total film production budgets spent in Louisiana has also increased significantly, from 34 percent in 2006 to 64-80 percent in 2010. In 2006 when the law changed to specify that only in-state spending would qualify for tax credits, productions spent approximately 34 percent of their budgets on in-state goods and services. By year-end 2010, that number is estimated to have hit 64 percent, indicating a widespread proliferation of Louisiana-based businesses servicing the industry. When the total spending is adjusted to eliminate mega-productions which tend to import more crew and vendors into Louisiana, and focuses on Louisiana projects budgeted at $20 million or less (90 percent of all film projects in the state), which use more Louisiana goods and services, the in-state spend average climbs even higher, to about 80 percent.
This shift in spending is significant because it reflects the growing maturity of the film industry in Louisiana. For example, services that once had to be performed in Los Angeles can now be secured in Shreveport, and jobs that were once found only in Burbank, CA are now based in New Orleans. Thus the brain drain is slowly being reversed in this sector, with Louisiana natives and their families returning to the Pelican State.
Similarly, the amount of spend in Louisiana increased by 30 percent from 2008-2010. LED estimates that production expenditures occurring in Louisiana reached $474.2 million in 2008; $361.5 million in 2009; and an estimated $674.1 million in 2010, a number BSCG considers conservative. (A number of factors may have created the 2009 decrease including the recession, potential industry strikes and temporary uncertainty about the future of Louisiana’s tax incentives.) These expenditures produced an estimated annual total economic impact – also known as economic output or economic benefit – in Louisiana of approximately $812 million in 2008, $593 million in 2009, and $1.1 billion in 2010. State of Louisiana – Fiscal and Economic Impacts of the Entertainment Incentives The BaxStarr Consulting Group
4 Finally, during a time of nationwide recession, rising unemployment and falling wages, average annual industry wages actually rose by $3,000 between 2008-2010. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have industry employment data for 2008-2010, data from IATSE Local 478, the film industry’s predominant trade union, demonstrates that Louisiana membership has grown from 776 in 2008 to more than 850 in 2010. An additional 200 professionals now work in other associated trades. Direct in-state wages for film projects have grown from approximately $163 million in 2008 to $106 million in 2009 to a conservative estimate for 2010 of $213 million (calculated by taking only 75 percent of those reported on initial certifications). According to IATSE figures, its members’ average annual wages have now hit approximately $55,000 plus benefits, compared to more than $52,000 in 2008.

Friday, May 25, 2012

How Louisiana Actors and Crew Benefit from Boom in Local Productions

By Daniel Lehman  May 23, 2012
Louisiana may be the greatest actor among the 50 United States. In countless films and television shows, the state has portrayed Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado, the jungles of South America, London, and even Los Angeles.

Current and upcoming feature films shooting in the state include Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," the sci-fi adaptation "Ender's Game," and Dito Montiel's "Empire State," a heist flick set in New York City.

"Historically, Louisiana has had a film industry," said Chris Stelly, executive director of Louisiana Entertainment, a division of the office of economic development. But he estimated that the business attracted only two or three projects a year prior to 2002, generating about $10 million in revenue for the state.

Since becoming a pioneer a decade ago by establishing tax credits for film and television productions, though, business has been booming in Louisiana. Seventy-nine applications were submitted for the tax incentive program in 2007, according to Stelly. Five years later, that number has nearly doubled, with more than 150 applications in 2011 (the last year such numbers were available). Stelly also said that for every dollar invested in the program by the state, about $5.51 is returned to the local economy.

The film industry paid approximately $117 million to Louisiana actors and production crew members in 2010. Stelly could not provide the specific number of actors and crew hired each year and said that payroll data for 2011 is incomplete but estimates it to be between $150 and $200 million. He said that today, Louisiana ranks behind only New York and Los Angeles as the country's production hubs.

The last decade of rapid development has also included investing in the industry's infrastructure. Soundstages, animation studios, and postproduction facilities have opened in several cities across the state, supporting local businesses and creating a sustainable economy that is less dependent on out-of-state resources. Many schools across the region are responding to these new employment opportunities by adding acting and film production to their curriculums.

As TV series such as A&E's "Breakout Kings" and USA's "Common Law" move to Louisiana, they bring more long-lasting opportunities with them. Casting director Ryan Glorioso said that a show like HBO's " Treme," which depicts life in post-Katrina New Orleans, has an even greater impact because it employs local artists and prompts viewers to visit the city.

Glorioso, who has worked with local actors since 2005, said that he has seen a "tremendous amount of growth" in the past five years. Glorioso Casting now casts extras and principal roles in New Orleans and Shreveport, for such films as the upcoming Will Ferrell-Zach Galifianakis comedy "The Campaign" and the 2011 remake of "Straw Dogs." Because it's a local company, producers also receive an extra tax incentive for using Glorioso's services.

And even though Hurricane Katrina was devastating to the entire Gulf Coast region in 2005 and for years later, it had an unexpected benefit to the local film industry by forcing productions to move inland, where studios added new locations to their maps. Cities such as Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette have since shared the load by hosting such productions as "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn," "Drive Angry," and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation."

News has been good as well for the region's steadily increasing number of union members. A SAG-AFTRA local chapter has recently been established in New Orleans. The new local is shared with Mississippi and is a direct result of the union merger, according to SAG-AFTRA South Region Executive Jason Tomlinson. His New Orleans-based position was created in 2007.

Tomlinson and Glorioso both said that they know many actors who have recently relocated from the coasts. "A lot of actors, especially newer actors, feel like they have to live in Los Angeles or New York in order to work," Glorioso said. "I had an actress in a class that I was teaching who lives in Tupelo, Mississippi, and she works all the time. She said, 'I never thought when I was in college that I'd be able to live in my hometown and be a working actor.' "

In addition to the star-studded "Django Unchained" and "Ender's Game," other feature films currently shooting in Louisiana include " The Tomb," a prison-set action thriller starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger; "Oblivion," a sci-fi epic starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman; " The End of the World," in which Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and James Franco prepare for the apocalypse; " Barefoot," starring Evan Rachel Wood and Scott Speedman; and the aforementioned " Empire State," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Liam Hemsworth.

Films that will begin production this summer include "Olympus Has Fallen," starring Gerard Butler as a former Secret Service agent who tries to prevent a terrorist attack on the White House; "Pawn Shop Chronicles," a thriller starring Paul Walker; " Twelve Years a Slave," starring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender; "Two Guns," co-starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington; and "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," a sequel to "Percy Jackson and the Olympians."

Additional film titles currently shooting or about to begin production include "King Dog," "How to Love a Geek," "Aztec Warriors," "Nothing to Fear," "The Pendant," "Motel," and more. For more information and to apply as an actor or crew member for these projects and more in the state of Louisiana, view the full casting notices at (Subscription required).

Daniel Lehman is a staff writer for Back Stage. Follow him on Twitter: @byDanLehman

Saturday, April 21, 2012

As Filmmaking Surges, New Orleans Becoming Serious Challenger To L.A.

For generations New Orleans‘ appeal to artists, musicians and writers did little to dispel the city’s image as a poor, albeit fun-loving, bohemian tourism haven. As was made all too evident by Katrina, the city was plagued by enormous class and racial divisions, corruption and some of the lowest average wages in the country.
Yet recently, the Big Easy and the state of Louisiana have managed to turn the region’s creative energy into something of an economic driver. Aided by generous production incentives, the state has enjoyed among the biggest increases in new film production anywhere in the nation. At a time when production nationally has been down, the number of TV and film productions shot in Louisiana tripled from 33 per year in 2002-2007 to an average of 92 annually in 2008-2010, according to a study by BaxStarr Consulting. Movies starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Morgan Freeman, Harrison Ford are being made in the state this year.
Of course many states and cities have thrown money at the film industry, hoping to establish themselves as cultural centers. Texas, Georgia, British Columbia, Toronto and Michigan all wagered millions in tax dollars to lure producers away from Hollywood and the industry’s secondary hub of New York. There were 279 movies shot in New York State in 2009 and 2010. For all its gains, Louisiana still trails far behind the Empire State with 95 film productions in that period.
Yet New Orleans and Louisiana possess unique assets which make its challenge far more serious than that of other places. A Detroit, Atlanta or Dallas might be a convenient and cost-efficient place to make a film or television show, but they lack the essential cultural richness that can lure creative people to stay. The Big Easy is attracting that type, plus post-production startups, and animation and videogame outfits, giving a broader foundation to the nascent local entertainment industry.
“This is different,” notes Los Angeles native and longtime Hollywood costumer Wingate Jones, who started Southern Costume Co. last year to cash in on the growth in production in the state. “It’s the combination of the food and the culture that appeals to people. It must have been a lot like what Hollywood was like in the ’20s and ’30s. It’s entrepreneurial and growing like mad.”
Critically, Jones adds, Louisiana’s unique culture comes without the fancy New York or Malibu price tag. This is a place where small roadside cafes serve up bowls of gumbo, crayfish and shrimp that would cost three to five times as much in New York, the Bay Area or Los Angeles. Excellent music — from rap to jazz to blues and gospel — can be found simply by walking into a bar and paying the price of a couple of beers. And then there are housing costs, roughly half as high, adjusted for income, than the big media centers.
This mixture of affordability and culture is attracting young people — the raw material of the creative economy — as well as industry veterans like Jones. In 2011, we examined migration patterns of the college-educated and found, to our surprise, that New Orleans was the country’s leading brain magnet. New Orleans was growing its educated base, on a per capita basis, at a far faster rate than much-ballyhooed, self-celebrated places like New York or San Francisco. In fact, its most intense competition was coming from other Southern cities such as Raleigh, Austin and Nashville, the last two of which also share a strong, and unique, regional culture.
Another sure sign of the city’s growing appeal has been a torrent of applications to Tulane University, the city’s premier institution of higher education. In 2010 the school received 44,000 applications, more than any other private university in the country. The largest group, more than even those from Louisiana, came from California, with New York and Texas not far behind.
Increasingly, the Big Easy merits comparison not only to the Hollywood of the 1920s but also Greenwich Village of the ’50s, Haight-Ashbury in the ’60s and “grunge” Seattle in the mid-’80s. These, too, were once appealing places that were less expensive, less predictable and more open to cultural outsiders. Now they’re increasingly too pricey and yuppified for creative people bereft of large trust funds.
Ironically, Katrina provided the critical spark for this transformation. It devastated the torpid, corrupt political and business culture that viewed the arts as quaint and fit only as a selling point for tourists. In its place came more business-minded administrations in New Orleans and in Baton Rouge, the state capital. In both places, economic developers seized on motion pictures, television, commercials and videogames as potential growth industries that fit well with the state’s expanding appeal to this generation’s creators.
Those now building entertainment businesses in Louisiana see the state’s business climate and cultural heritage as key assets. David Hague manages the New Orleans studio of Paris-based Gameloft. When it was opening in 2011 with plans to hire 20 in its first year, he says it received a blizzard of 2,500 applications. Hague thinks the city has basic appeal for young creative people.

“Everywhere you look there is something inspiring either architecturally or historically; not to mention a thriving arts community,” he says. “When you combine all these aspects and project them forward you have the foundation to build a critical mass of employers in the industry that will keep the area competitive long term.”

The growth of games companies, special effects and other post-production houses may be even more important for Louisiana’s long-term cultural ascendency than the surge in filming. Electronic Arts, for example, recently opened a $28.2 million testing facilities in Baton Rouge, an hour north of the Big Easy. Moonbot Studios, which got started in 2009 in the northern Louisiana city of Shreveport, just won an Academy Award for its short animated feature “The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” and appears to be on the verge of becoming a powerhouse in all fields of digital animation.
These companies have the potential to give the state a long-term competitive edge. After all, generous tax breaks, like those now offered by Louisiana, can be offered elsewhere; over the past few decades, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Georgia, Michigan, Texas and New Mexico have all targeted producers looking to save a buck or two. But while incentives can get film people from Los Angeles, where I live, or in the Bay Area or New York to trudge out to work for a bit in Toronto, Pittsburgh or Dallas, few ever think about settling in these places. In the end, they return to Hollywood, and New York, because a critical mass of writers, actors and technicians have congregated and enjoy being there.

Louisiana has a chance to change that dynamic. The rise of support businesses — post-production, animation houses and costumers – gives it the possibility of building a major new entertainment center. With its history, Louisiana offers more than just money and lavish praise for creators. It boasts a vibrant culture that that is not imitative of other regions or dependent on government; it is intrinsic to the place, and reflects a longstanding tradition that goes back centuries.

The rise of the local film industry has enabled the return of some creative former Louisianans who had been forced to ply their skills elsewhere. New Orleans native Huck Wirtz opened his Bayou FX post-production house in November 2010 after 17 years in the Golden State. “When I left here there was no industry to speak of,” notes Wirtz, a veteran of George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic. “We always had artists but they didn’t make much money. Now Louisiana culture is becoming an industry. People see the opportunity here to make this the next big place.”

Monday, April 16, 2012

Versatile Louisiana becomes 'L.A. South' for movie shoots

By Claudia Puig, USA TODAY

Hollywood is eternally searching for the filmmaking Shangri-La.

In the 1990s, filmmakers often traveled to Canada. But that eventually became less fashionable, and these days the industry is migrating in a different direction — to Louisiana. "L.A. South" has become the go-to spot for shooting movies.

Even before the economic recession hit Hollywood, the state of Louisiana had been quietly gaining stature as the place to make quality movies and stretch dollars.

"We have the largest number of productions outside of Los Angeles and New York City," says Chris Stelly, director of film for Louisiana Entertainment, a division of the state office of economic development.

"Like Vancouver used to be 'Hollywood North,' Louisiana's the hot spot now," says Patrick Lussier, director of Drive Angry 3D, a supernatural road movie starring Nicolas Cage and Amber Heard, opening in February.

The state subbed for Texas, Colorado and New Mexico in Drive Angry, Lussier says.

The consummate versatile character actor, Louisiana has also played Utah, Washington, D.C., and London. "The film industry wants to find places it can reinvent and make look like anything it needs," Lussier says. "There's a lot of opportunity do that in Louisiana."

Movies shooting in Louisiana range from mega-budget blockbusters to quirky indies. Films shot this year include testosterone-fueled action-adventure The Expendables, which opens Aug. 13, and the comic book-inspired The Green Lantern, due in 2011. The low-budget horror film The Last Exorcism opens Aug. 27, and the big-screen version of the 1960s TV show The Big Valley arrives next year.

And the films cross all sectors, from Oscar bait to tween phenomena. The much-nominated The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was shot in New Orleans in 2008, and Breaking Dawn, the fourth installment in the hugely successful Twilight series, films this year in Baton Rouge.

In 2009, 60 films and TV shows shot in Louisiana. By mid-2010, 85 productions have already signed on, Stelly says: "We're well on our way to having a record-breaking year."

New Orleans as Anytown, USA

The boom is most visible around New Orleans. In 2009, 22 movies and TV shows filmed there. Records have already been broken in 2010; by July, 24 projects had shot there.

"We're way ahead of the curve in the New Orleans region," says Katie Gunnell, interim director of the city's Office of Film and Television. "The city has seen an incredible bump in applications for 2011 as well."

Across the state, work is consistent and year-round, despite hurricane season and blazing summer temperatures. "We've maintained 20 to 25 productions at any given time during the year," Stelly says. "We've doubled for New York City, Los Angeles, the Northwest, basically Anytown, USA."

Those who have shot there point to several factors contributing to the region's appeal: diversity of scenery, financial incentives and proficient crews.

"You can get an 1800s look, you can get a Parisian look," says Todd Lewis, producer of The Chaperone. "You can get suburbs, you can get the country. It's got a little bit of everything." His movie, out next year, is one of several Louisiana-based films funded by World Wrestling Entertainment and featuring wrestling stars, in this case Paul "Triple H" Levesque.

Director Rod Lurie was looking to duplicate rural Mississippi in Straw Dogs, a remake of the 1971 classic coming out next year. He did so in and around Shreveport. "They really do have it all there," he says. "You can go anywhere from swamps to beautiful rivers to cities to football stadiums. We were able to shoot the entire film within a 10-mile radius."

Jonah Hex, the supernatural action thriller in theaters earlier this summer, used New Orleans to double for the Old West.

Though producer Andrew Lazar initially had reservations about shooting a Western in Louisiana, his concerns disappeared when he considered the obvious. "The French Quarter hasn't changed much over the years, so you don't need a lot of set dressing," Lazar says. "We just put some dirt on the road and we were back in the 1870s."

Says Lussier: "New Orleans has so many looks. You can get a European look, and it also has an unmistakable feeling of the American frontier. It's such an amazing city unto itself. Why not take advantage of it?"

Filmmakers say it's hard to go wrong with scenery like this.

"Wherever you point the camera, you have a beautiful and picturesque set design," says Daniel Stamm, director of The Last Exorcism. "And the atmosphere does something for the actors. It's so old world. We shot at a plantation, and the smell and the sounds of the floorboards did something to the atmosphere that's tangible, that you wouldn't get in L.A. on a soundstage."

Stamm's horror movie was enhanced by the surprise appearance of a toothy visitor.

"We were shooting in the Ninth Ward (an area in New Orleans hard-hit by Katrina), and you could still see the waterline in this old plantation," Stamm says. "One day, we couldn't shoot for three hours because an alligator had crawled on set. That does something to the team, something you can't fake."

Tax incentives best in USA

The hauntingly creative vibe may be palpable, but the bottom line is equally alluring.

The state offers the most competitive economic and tax incentives of any in the country. A system of financial perks was enacted after Hurricane Katrina destroyed $81 billion in property and killed 1,836 people in 2005.

"We approached it like a business, and it keeps (filmmakers) coming back, based on our reliability and stability," Stelly says. "For every dollar you spend in the state, we'll give you 30% back (in rebates). And we give you an additional 5% for hiring Louisiana residents on productions."

Tax incentives can be sold as credits or used to offset personal or corporate income tax, he says.

"As things get more expensive, you have to go wherever you get the budget relief," Lussier notes. "You can no longer use Mulholland Drive for your backwoods road movie."

There is also the sense among filmmakers that they are helping an area that sorely needs a hand in bouncing back from one of the worst natural disasters in history.

"Louisiana has been through so much, and I'm glad to be able to make a film there," says Nicole Kidman, who is shooting the 2011 film Trespass in Shreveport this summer with Nicolas Cage.

"The economy desperately needs the film business," Lurie says. "And it's fantastic watching people get employed. We hired a thousand people to be extras and put a couple of hundred bucks in their pockets, and that's helpful to the economy. The film commission is among the most proactive I've ever seen."

Between that obliging spirit and the financial incentives, Lurie says, "It doesn't pay to make movies in Los Angeles anymore. You can save too much money by going out of town."

Crews with skill, enthusiasm

Shooting movies outside Hollywood is certainly not new. But the more common scenario is to shoot segments in distant cities and use Hollywood studios as a base. As more films are shot in Louisiana, the ancillary businesses and infrastructure associated with the industry — post-production centers and soundstages — are also increasingly cropping up.

Every Hollywood-based filmmaker interviewed spoke glowingly of the local production personnel and regional actors.

"Because of all that's being shot there, local crews get better and better," says Ken Zunder, cinematographer for The Chaperone. "You get a lot of crews that are very savvy here. It's not like going to, say, Detroit."

The combination of skill and energy is something particularly appreciated by those coming from Hollywood.

"In L.A., everyone is exhausted by the film business, with all the noise and shooting at night," Stamm says. "Down there, everyone is not jaded. There is still an enthusiasm about the whole thing."

So much enthusiasm, in fact, that some Los Angeles residents have moved south with the jobs.

Producer Joshua Throne made several films in the state, the latest being The Expendables. He has homes in both Louisiana and Los Angeles. Throne's next project is The Technician, co-starring Kevin Bacon and Kurt Russell, which will shoot in Louisiana in January.

"There's such a zest for life here," he says. "There's lots of good food, good people, wonderful history, and it still has the Southern charm."

Lewis and his wife also have made the move to New Orleans. "I love L.A., I really do," he says. "And I'm sorry that productions are running away from L.A., but this is a really easy and cost-efficient place to make movies."

Ed Borasch Jr., a property master, moved from Southern California. "I have to go where the work is," he says. "It's just so much nicer and quieter here, and the traffic's not as crazy, and the people are super friendly. You feel like you're welcomed here. I lived in Los Angeles for 15 years, and that was a great run for me, but the work dried up, and now my time is here." Meanwhile, he's gotten married, had a baby and laid down roots.

'A sexy city'

Some stars have bought homes in New Orleans in recent years, including Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock and Cage, who has shot several movies there.

Actress Annabeth Gish shot two films in New Orleans this summer. The first was The Fields, co-starring Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and the second was The Chaperone.

"So much is happening in New Orleans," says Gish, who's married to stunt coordinator Wade Allen. "It's been a long time since I or my husband shot in Los Angeles. You'd think with Arnold (Schwarzenegger) as our governor, we'd be bringing movies back to L.A.

"But one of the great things about coming here on location is you feel like you're paying back the debt the country owes by being here and feeding the economy. And it's a character in its own right, so saturated with culture and flavor. It's a sexy city with so much history — a little hot, though."

Hollywood types are never shy about complaining, but except for occasional remarks about the searing summer heat, no one has a negative thing to say about the southward migration. "The love affair is on," Lussier says. "When filming starts going to a place, there's a real excitement. You can feel that, and it can be very productive for both sides."

Ties between Canada and Hollywood grew frayed as resentment mounted over film crews taking up so much space in cities like Vancouver and Toronto. Will Hollywood and Louisiana maintain a lasting romance?

"It'll be interesting to see if seven or eight years down the road, people get tired of road closures and the novelty of having movies come to their town," says Lussier. "For now, it's great. Hopefully, it will last a while."

Vampire Film Festival: Submissions Now Open for 2012 Film Festival

Mortals it's time to join the coven as your world nears its end. The Undead will continue to rule Earth long after the bastion of humanity has disappeared.

Submissions are now open for the 2012 Vampire Film Festival with a new focus on Witchcraft!

Festival Entry Deadlines & Details

We are seeking the best films in these categories from filmmakers worldwide. Any language, Any Format, Any Length!

Vampire Films & Documentaries
Gothic Films (pertaining to gothic literature, culture, Middle Ages or Medieval, etc)
Witchcraft & Voodoo
Mythic Horror (werewolves, ghosts, super natural, dark Superheroes etc)
Music Videos

This year the Vampire Film Festival will be in two cities. Winning Films will have the opportunity to play at multiple events and multiple venues.

July 10 - 13 at the brand new A Midsummer Nightmare Con in New Orleans (see details below)

Fall 2012 in Los Angeles. More details forthcoming.

 For more information:

Friday, March 2, 2012

FilmingLouisiana films for March 2012

HOURS, New Orleans
BAREFOOT, New Orleans
ENDERS GAME, New Orleans
LAMB OF GOD, New Orleans
ENDER’S GAME, New Orleans .
RUGARU, Around New Orleans .
THE TOMB, New Orleans .
THE UNTITLED TOM CRUISE PROJECT, Baton Rouge and New Orleans .
THUNDER RUN, Baton Rouge .
THE HOST, Baton Rouge or fax resumes to 225.952.9030.
THE HOT FLASHES, New Orleans .
NOW YOU SEE ME, New Orleans .
REIGNING MEN, Baton Rouge .
SYNARCHY, New Orleans and Baton Rouge .
TREME (SEASON 3) . For casting positions ONLY, please direct resumes to .

New Visual Effects Studios opens in Baton Rouge

New visual effects studio to open at Celtic Media Centre
German visual effects company Pixomondo will open a Baton Rouge studio at Celtic Media Centre in May, company officials and Gov. Bobby Jindal announced this afternoon. The studio is expected to create 75 new direct jobs in film, TV and commercial production work. It will be 12th international studio for Pixomondo, which won an Oscar Sunday night for its work in Hugo. Pixomondo will occupy more than 6,000 square feet at Celtic Media Centre and make an initial capital investment of $1.2 million. The jobs it creates will have average annual salaries of $65,000, plus benefits, and the studio expects to be fully employed by the end of its second year in operation. The state began working with Pixomondo six months ago to gauge the company's interest in establishing a studio that could partner with major movie and TV productions in Baton Rouge and greater Louisiana. The Baton Rouge studio will work with Pixomondo's international locations on major projects that require around-the-clock production across different time zones. Project work will include visual effects for corporate campaigns as well as film and TV productions. Pixomondo is expected to use Louisiana's digital media and film production tax credits, as well as Louisiana Economic Development's FastStart workforce development program.
SOURCE: Greater Baton Rouge Business Report Daily Report 2/29/2012:

Moonbot Studios of Shreveport Wins the Academy Award!

Moonbot Studios' "The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore" has won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
The animated movie tells the story of a man who loves books, how they bring adventure and color into his life, and how he then leaves his own great story behind.
"We're just these two like swamp rats from Louisiana, and this is incredibly grand," said writer-director and Shreveport native William Joyce upon winning the Oscar. "We love the movies, we love the movies more than anything, and it's been part of our lives since we were both kids."
"It's been a part of our DNA since we were children and it's made us storytellers," added Co-Director Brandon Oldenburg.
"Morris Lessmore" competed against fellow Oscar nominees "Dimanche," "La Luna," "A Morning Stroll" and "Wild Life."
This is the first Academy Award and nomination for the Shreveport-based film studio, and "Morris Lessmore" is their first animated release.
Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Contact: Jonathan Isaac Jackson

Foburg Film Festival Director




NEW ORLEANS, LA – January 1, 2012 – foburg Festival announces the implementation of its first film festival as an addition to the 3rd year of foburg’s music festival.

foburg is a 3-day alternative music and film festival on March 9-11, 2012 in 15 venues on and around Frenchmen Street in the greater Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. foburg features rock, indie rock, and alternative artists from the greater Gulf South and national touring artists on their way to SXSW in Austin TX, which is the following week. foburg also helps revitalize a once-thriving, historic Frenchmen Street by drawing fans of a less “traditional” genres of music to its venues. Foburg 2011 featured 15 venues, 125 bands, and crowds approaching 10,000 people. concentrates on the film portion of foburg, providing a lineup of films that will encompass music, an independent spirit, and visual flair. festival hopes to be what any major film fest is when they begin, allowing indie filmmakers to expose their films to a market that caters to independent thinking.

The Fest will consist of a three day lineup, comparable to the music fest. The first day will feature the first 2 hour round of short films, produced from around the world, as well as right here in New Orleans. The second day will consist of the screening of our 24 hour music video festival, which will pair music bands and filmmakers together to make a music video in 24 hours to compete for a top prize. The last day will consist of the second short film block, and an outdoor screening of a film on Frenchmen Street.

Submissions are now open until February 13th, 2012 (Visit on Facebook for submission inquiries). For further information for Festival, please visit:
 or contact: Jonathan Jackson at 504.307.7609 or on Facebook: Festival Promo Videos:

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