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Southside Story

High on culture, art and theatre, the US State of Louisiana is a veteran on the filming circuit

The Southern State in the US, Louisiana is listed high in the catalogue of tourism and culture-dominated society. With places like New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the capital, in its kitty, one can expect exquisite festival celebrations and carnivals. In a way, it is social glue that provides stability to the various ethnic groups that reside in the State. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is called the ‘greatest free show on earth’ and the most popular carnival.

The neighbourhoods of New Orleans all are equally appealing. The picturesque French Quarter beautifully merges with the uptown and downtown portions. From Bourbon Street’s exotic nightlife to St Charles Avenue’s 19th century mansions and the ‘magazine street’ with scores of fashion boutiques, the cityscape is an artistic representation.

Baton Rouge has a mix of both Cajun and Creole culture, making it the hub of art and theatre. Bossier City and Shreveport are sister cities but it is the latter which rules thanks to the gaming industry and its riverfront casino district.

Louisiana has various other eminent towns and villages which together make it extraordinary. Also, recreational, national and protected areas double as breathtaking places for film shooting.

Altogether, incentives, easily accessible permits and divine locations with ample space for huge production sets make this state apt for any kind of shoot.

INCENTIVES

Production Incentives

Louisiana offers a 30 per cent transferable incentive for total in-State expenditures related to the production of a motion picture. That includes all services that are performed in Louisiana from residents and non-residents alike. An additional 5 per cent labour incentive can be earned on the payroll of Louisiana residents that are employed by a State certified motion picture production. The incentives are fully transferable and Louisiana has no limit to the amount of incentives that can be earned by a single production.

Other Incentives

• Federal tax incentives

All US-based productions continue to have other potential incentives including a 6 per cent tax deduction from gross revenues for US film and television production activities.

• Qualifying for the 30 per cent credit

Money that is spent outside of Louisiana or expenditures that are indirect or not production-related do not qualify for the tax credit. For example, money spent renting a Ferrari in Louisiana as a prop for a production is acceptable. The indirect costs of buying a Ferrari, which clearly has value outside of the production, will not qualify. Expenditures from a pass through or company with no Louisiana resident employees and/or physical address that does not maintain actual office hours will not qualify.

• What about co-productions?

The $ 15 to 20 million threshold refers to the qualifying film. The benefits of the provision must be allocated among the owners of a film in a manner that reasonably reflects each owner’s proportionate investment in and economic interest in the film.

 

LAWS & PERMITS

There are no State fees or permits required for filming in Louisiana. Location fees for use of State property are assessed on a case by case basis and are often waived. Decisions on road closures are made by the local jurisdictions.

With the exception of Worker’s Compensation, Louisiana has no insurance requirements for motion pictures, but any producers filming in the State are strongly encouraged to acquire a comprehensive liability policy prior to the onset of principal photography.

Interstate highway size and weight regulations apply to roadways in Louisiana. Vehicles are required to either display apportioned license plates and cab cards indicating they are licensed with Louisiana or permits must be purchased every 48 hours that a vehicle is in Louisiana unless a waiver form is completed and returned to the Weights and Standards Division of the Department of Transportation.

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