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Movie magic fight

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BATON ROUGE - Hollywood South will have a little more competition with Hollywood, California, since legislation was signed there to triple the California's annual tax credit for films and television.

The California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act creates a new, five-year film and TV tax credit program beginning in fiscal year 2015-2016 to include big-budget films, 1-hour TV series and TV pilots. Funding will begin at $230 million and jump to $330 million per fiscal year from 2016-2017 to 2019-2020.

"[California] finally woke up, and was like, 'we need to do something,'" said President of Fusion Media Jeremy Pleasant. "Fantastic Four was just here, Oblivion shot here, you're talking not just big-budget, $50 million films.  You're talking $100 million [movies] that are not being shot in California. I think that kind of scared them a bit."

Pleasant, who works in music and sound post production came to Baton Rouge by way of the other L.A. to study music. Work kept him in Louisiana.

"I just found more opportunities here," he said.

The tax incentives are essential to him and others in the motion picture industry. Pleasant says people are leaving California left and right for work elsewhere because of the costs.

Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment, Chris Stelly, says production is consistent and other states are trying to keep up.

"We were the first state to adopt an incentive program in the United States and that was in 2002," said Stelly. "Anything that comes along after that is copying kind of what we have done and trying to replicate the success that we've had in this industry."

Stelly anticipates there will be some changes, what those changes are, it's too soon to tell.

 

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