The new year in the Louisiana Entertainment Industry is already off to an amazing start. With multiple major motion pictures already in production, and many more scheduled throughout the year, the experts
are predicting even more growth in the local film industry from now until 2013. With this increase and filming, we are also seeing bigger and bigger names make their way to the Bayou state. The LA Times writes, “Showing signs of continued robust growth, Louisiana’s film industry is gearing up for another busy year, with movies starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Morgan Freeman, Harrison Ford, and Russell Brand”
. And they forgot to mention Tom Cruise
, Will Ferrell
, Mark Wahlberg
and director Quentin Tarantino.
According to sources
, the Louisiana Film tax incentives (which became permanent in 2009) have been one of the reasons for this big boom in blockbuster bookings. But the diverse settings available in Louisiana also have strong appeal for location scouts. Ranging from swamps, to city-scapes, and universities to plantation homes, there are an infinite possibilities for productions here locally. In 2011, production expenditures were “estimated to reach 1.4 billion dollars”
which is a huge increase from the “nearly 900 million figure estimated for 2010
”. Sources are predicting an even higher figure for 2012, and more jobs for local residents, more casting for local talent, and more star-sightings for the rest of us!
Visit L.A. Times.com
for the full article.
It is no secret that Brad Pitt is a notable New Orleans celebrity. Dozens of images can be seen of him and his family breezing through the French Quarter. It is also on record that stores in uptown have even had to close for regular business when Angelina comes through because of the spectacle of fans. But other than enjoying the shopping and laid back atmosphere, Brad is also contributing to the local community.
But this time it isn’t charity that he is being generous with- but his talent. Brad plans to produce and star in a movie based on a true story set in Louisiana. Provided the story doesn’t paint the State in the best light, dealing with slave ownership and kidnapping, Brad has chosen to bring this harrowing tale to the big screen to depict a different side of the local history.
Reportedly, he plans to shoot this film here in Louisiana to offer an accurate setting for the story. The memoir “Twelve Years a Slave
” is the real-life account of Solomon Northup
, who was illegally kidnapped and sold into slavery in the early 1800’s. Having worked in New York, Northup was drugged and beaten before being sold into the slave trade in Georgia. It was in Georgia that the formerly-freed slave was sold to “Master Epps” who owned a cotton plantation here in New Orleans. It has not yet been released if Pitt plans to portray the slave-master Epps, or the Canadian construction worker responsible for freeing Northup and returning him to his native state. Previously Brad has chosen the more noble characters, but fans and followers are excited by the thought of him playing the bad guy. Regardless, other big names like Steve McQueen (writer of 2008’s “Hunger”
) and Michael Fassbender (of “Inglorious Bastards
”) have already signed on to the project because they didn’t want to miss out on this opportunity.
The screenplay for this biographical drama is already complete, and casting is already underway- so in the future we may start seeing signs for “12YAS”
. For more information about this film, read the news article from Canada.com
Willowy models and hand-crafted couture are hitting the runway all this week during New Orleans' Fall Fashion Week! Carrying the momentum from last Spring's huge success, the NOLA Fashion Council is giving locals another opportunity to indulge in the luxuries of Louisiana style. Over the week, fans, followers, and fashionistas are flocking to runway shows and presentations at the Ogden Museum. But this season's events include more than just clothing exhibitions. Experts and professionals are also hosting special workshops specific to the design industry. Some of these include hat-making, editorial photography, and couture techniques- which covers corset development. All of these workshops are reasonable priced and feature skilled professionals in their fields. NOLA Fashion Weeks has received some criticism for paling in comparison with the New York, London and Paris Shows- but this in no way disheartens the presenters! The fact is, with a booming film industry and internationally renowned talent, the local fashion industry is quickly catching up! N
OLA Designers reflect the spirit of the city- and create unique lines that are just as distinct as the local culture. So show your pride for New Orleans, and stay ahead of the trends this spring with a visit to NOLA Fashion Week! For a complete list of remaining runway shows, presentations and educational workshops visit NOLAfashionweek.com
Baton Rouge is pleased to host the Third Street Film Festival, giving everyone who is interested in film making a chance to have their work seen by the general public and other film makers. The Third Street Film Festival, which is premiering on December 30, 2011, is now accepting submissions. Being a Louisiana based film festival, they are asking for films only produced and filmed in Louisiana. If you are trying to get into the film industry. This is definitely a way to start.
Additional information can be found at LAFilmSpot.com
The first annual 3rd Street Film Festival will be a spectacular one night event where we showcase Louisiana's talented independent filmmakers to the general public. The 3rd Street Film Festival was created to encourage, foster, and promote Louisiana filmmakers by providing a public venue to showcase their artistry.
The 3rd Street Film Festival will help strengthen the foundation of the Louisiana Film Industry, with hopes to propel Louisiana to the number one spot for total film productions in America. With Louisiana dubbed as Hollywood of the South, we are quickly earning its’ place as a top tier filming location. Louisiana is currently ranked 3rd in the nation for total number of film productions (Louisiana Entertainment Office, 2010)
The 3rd Street Film Festival will take place at the Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center for the Arts on the night of December 30th, 2011.
Please stay tuned at lafilmspot.com for updates sourunding the event.
The horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D
heads to Shreveport, Louisiana this week for production. The film stars Scott Eastwood, the youngest son of actor/director Clint Eastwood. Eastwood will play the role of Carl, the male lead, and the deal calls for him to be part of what is envisioned as a trilogy. More great news for the Louisiana film industry if the trilogy is shot and produced here!
For more information, check out IMDB
Louisiana ranks third in film and television production nationwide, behind only California and New York.
Yet, the growing number of productions filmed in the Bayou State — more than 300 in the past five years — has essentially bypassed our region.
Local filmmakers Rodney and Jill Ray think it's time to change that.
The Rays, currently filming "New Hope" in Monroe, want to show other production companies the assets they have encountered with their filmmaking — great locations, community volunteers, cooperative governmental agencies, a growing group of local professionals and lower production costs.
They know we need to have production-ready resources here and have set about to develop some. They have trained their own staff for RSquared Productions, and even hosted a film festival and workshops this spring to interest others, particularly students, in learning production techniques. They have assisted others, including teachers of script-writing classes, in other aspects of the filmmaker's art.
According to an economic impact study produced for the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, the state's tax incentive program for the entertainment industry has resulted in a growing annual economic impact, measured at $710 million in 2009 and jumping to $1.08 billion in 2010.
Continue reading here
BATON ROUGE (NBC33) - — A new tax credit for the Louisiana Film Industry died in the House Ways and Means committee Thursday after dozens of locals in the business told lawmakers, they don’t want the money.
The small business owners said the bill requirements are set too high, and would give California companies an advantage over smaller, Louisiana grown companies.
Senate Bill 264, by President Joel Chaisson, a Democrat, will not advance any further in the Louisiana Legislature this session.
Continue reading at NBC33
Ryan Reynolds in 'Green Lantern'
"Green Lantern," which opens in theaters Thursday at midnight, is big business, both for Warner Bros. -- the studio behind the film -- and for Louisiana's film industry.
For its part, the studio has shelled out in the neighborhood of $150 million on what it hopes will be Hollywood's next big superhero franchise, and the film on which the first part of its summer movie season is hinged. ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" lands next month, the second part of the studio's impressive one-two punch.)
Of that $150 million, some $113 million -- about 75 percent -- was spent in Louisiana, according to Chris Stelly, director of the state's film office. That gives "Green Lantern" the title of biggest feature film ever shot in the state, both in terms of dollars spent in-state and in terms of money paid out by the Louisiana filmmaking tax-incentives program. (The previous record-holder: 2008's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which also had a budget in the neighborhood of $150 million but which spent a larger chunk in other locations and which shot before the state sweetened the tax-incentives program in 2009.)
It also means the state is heavily invested in the film, to the tune of an estimated $34.9 million in tax credits offered to lure the project here, according to the state film office. Despite what critics of filmmaking tax incentives say, Stelly and the program's supporters insist it's money well spent. Not only does much of that money get plowed back into the state economy, but a film with as high a profile as "Green Lantern" is a feather-in-the-cap kind of production that has a way of begetting more film projects.
"I think with a film like 'Green Lantern' and the size and the potential it has for sequels or prequels or whatever they're calling for, I think it really shows the diversity in locations that Louisiana can do," Stelly said. "Louisiana can do Louisiana really well, but guess what? We can do other places really well. So there's that diversity in location. We can do the major tentpole pictures. There's no reason that any other picture can't be shot in Louisiana."Reynolds states, "I love New Orleans. New Orleans is a second home for me, so being there was fantastic."Continue reading at NOLA.com
Zac is back. Bruce is back, too. And so are Sly, 50 Cent, Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, WWE Studios and any number of return visitors to Hollywood South.In fact, aside from the sheer number of major feature-film productions preparing to set up shop in New Orleans this summer -- which comes on the heels of an already bustling spring 2011 -- the standout feature of the slate of arriving movie productions is the number of familiar faces it contains.
Call it the "Boomerang Summer."
Not only is it fun to have so many famous faces in town (pool party at my house on Saturday, guys!), but it also speaks volumes to the maturity of the local film industry that so many stars are on their second -- or third or even higher -- trip to the Crescent City.
For those keeping score at home, here's a quick rundown of all the major comings and goings on the local film scene:
"G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes" -- This big-budget, toy-inspired sequel is the 400-pound gorilla on this summer's local production schedule. Paramount Pictures hasn't officially announced that it is coming to New Orleans, but word leaked out this spring that it's on the way, and between you, me and Sgt. Slaughter, it has already set up its local production offices. Star Channing Tatum is expected to return to the cast, which will mark his second tour of duty in New Orleans this year, after finishing up "21 Jump Street" this month (see below). Jon M. Chu ("Step Up: 3D") will direct. Filming is set to begin in August and to continue through Thanksgiving. That's a nice, steady job for a huge chunk of the local crew base. All together now: "Goooo, Joe!"
"Headshot" -- After spending the fat part of summer 2009 in New Orleans directing and starring in action extravaganza "The Expendables," Sylvester Stallone returns to the Crescent City for this action film to be distributed by Warner Bros. This time, though, he's handing over the reins to director Walter Hill, who shot 1981's "Southern Comfort" and 1975's "Hard Times" in Louisiana. Hill will oversee the telling of this story of a cop and a hitman who form an uneasy alliance against a common enemy. Production is scheduled to crank up this weekend.
"Fire With Fire" -- If Bruce Willis sticks around in town much longer, he might qualify to run for local office. He started off the year by shooting Rian Johnson's eagerly awaited sci-fi actioner "Looper" in town, then he moved on to "Lay the Favorite" with Vince Vaughn and Catherine Zeta-Jones, which is at the tail end of its 25-day local shoot. Next up: This firefighter drama with Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson ("Freelancers") and Josh Duhamel. It's set to start June 27.Too a complete list of what's gearing up, wrapping up, and what's rumored to be filming next in New Orleans, continue reading at NOLA.com