La. movie biz taking a bite out of California
BATON ROUGE - A nearly deserted Hollywood has lawmakers in California scrambling to save its iconic movie industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California has lost more than 16,000 film and television jobs and more than a billion dollars in wages. Local movie moguls say those jobs went to states with rich tax incentives, like Louisiana.
In an effort to curb this outward migration, California wants to quadruple movie tax credits to $400 million.
"The incentive programs here, and in a lot of other states, have taken a lot of the independent productions out of California and to the incentive states," said Eric Davies, a film producer who worked in Hollywood for more than 30 years. "A lot of those people left Hollywood in a mass exodus to try and stay employed."
California is offering new incentives, to get back those jobs, and its iconic status, as the movie capitol.
"For a long time there has been an out migration of work from California," said David Tatman, Louisiana Film and Entertainment. "I don't think the incentive program reverses that."
Regardless of whether or not the anticipated $400 million tax credit brings jobs back into Los Angeles, local movie moguls say Baton Rouge shouldn't worry.
"I don't think a 400 dollar incentive is going to save Hollywood," Davies said. "I don't think it's going to affect the other incentive states, like Louisiana and the amount of productions that come here."
In 2012, the film industry in Louisiana generated more than $730 million in household earnings.