The Austin American-Statesman's Chris Garcia dropped in for a visit recently and reported on the Shreveport movie industry. The piece published Sunday. One thing that's interesting about the piece is the way Amber Havens describes the state film incentive game. Havens works at the Office of Entertainment Industry Development (state film office) in Baton Rouge.
"It's an arms race between states," Havens told the Statesman. "Each state is going to have to evaluate what is the return. These new states that come out with guns blazing tend to fall by the wayside."
It's important to read this in the context of the full article, which can be found by clicking here. (Check out an infrastructure/production history comparison sidebar here.)
Garcia also found a fresh perspective on the film industry's oft-promoted economic benefits. He spoke to Don Baylor of the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin, who said: "There's much more prestige that comes with having the film industry in your state than there is true economic impact .... It's not really a sustainable effort. You're subsidizing things one project at a time, and the impact is fleeting."
The following excerpt on Shreveport's handling of the industry is interesting, too. About The Shreve, Garcia writes: "Comparatively light street traffic, easy access to all parts of the city in 10 to 15 minutes, and low-cost housing compound the appeal. (The median home price in Shreveport in early 2008 was $131,000, compared with $184,000 in Austin.) The city government bends over backwards to aid filmmakers and smooth the process, waiving permit fees for location shooting and offering free city water to productions for simulated rain and floods. The City of Austin discounts services but rarely offers them for free."
Again, read all of Garcia's reporting. It's worth your time.