Thursday, July 31, 2008

Louisiana Film Summit set for Friday

The movie industry meeting of the minds will take place at the Shreveport Convention Center on Friday. I'll be there all day.

Here's what you need to know: "Among the featured speakers and panelists will be Chris Stelly, executive director of film and television for the Louisiana Economic Development Department; Mary Ann Hughes, a tax credit expert with Disney; Lampton Enochs, a local producer and line producer; and Jeffrey Goodman, a local independent filmmaker.

"And Christopher Martin, dean of Centenary College's Frost School of Business, will compare the film industry to other business sectors of Louisiana."

All events at Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo St., unless otherwise noted. Tickets are $50 in advance; $60 at the door.

Tickets cost $50 each in advance and $60 at the door.

Film Summit schedule
8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.: registration.
9:15 a.m. Session I: discussions on industry's economic impact, industry's future.
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: networking lunch.
1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.: panels on industry challenges and strategies for the future.
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.: "It's a Wrap" party at Hilton Shreveport, 104 Market St.


Anonymous said...

I don't mean to poo poo the effort but it's too little too late. If this region of the state was truly interested in keeping film in Louisiana then this forum would have occurred 3-5 years ago. The Shreveport and Bossier City governments have watched the parade go by and now they want to try to encourage filmmaking in the state. There are too many people involved in government that are more interested in the glamour of Hollywood rather than doing what they can to keep the work here. This sounds like what it is - the last gasp.

Chris Lyon said...

Actually, this summit isn't a lot about keeping the industry here. It's here already and isn't leaving. We have had around 60 films this year in the Louisiana already- and those are just the ones that are state recognized. This summit isn't about Shreveport, it's about Louisiana and we are still the number one place outside of NY and L.A. to film. Not to mention that there are a lot of things being done to expand the horizon of our tax credits- like taking steps to lower the credit threshold to allow smaller productions to benefit. Imagine if all those Austin filmmakers came over here to make films. So much more has already been done that you don't appear to be aware of that's just around the corner.

Chris Lyon said...

Pardon my poor posting on that one. The summit reception was just so good that I'm extremely tired and didn't have the will to really respond well to that anonymous post.

Anonymous said...

I realize that the state on a whole is fairing okay but there are plenty of other states with more attractive incentives on the table. I have heard from other union members that the state is working on a better incentive package; I sincerely hope so. Yes, the film business is here to stay but I fear that state and city politics will continue to shift the business south.

Chris Lyon said...

Well, as per information imparted during today's summit (which was by no means a one sided story) the production tax credits can't actually be addressed until 2009 according to our state's constitution. And production credits actually have had the sunset clause removed- meaning they can't expire. And they aren't even set to change until 2010. However, in light of other states reacting to our success, the legislation will meet again next year to discuss how to be the leader in the coming years.

The fact that other people are catching on is scary, yes, but it's not that our legislators don't care- they just can't do anything about it until the first meeting in 2009. In fact, our governor has talked about meeting January 1 to address this and other issues.

This all goes without saying that only one other state really has competition with us- Georgia. No other state with incentives have the infrastructure we have here. We offered 40% infrastructure credits (months before Katrina and Rita) to build up a base of below-the-line workers so that productions wouldn't just look at our tax credits, but also the available crew/production services. Productions that hire Louisiana crew get a 10% credit on that in addition to the 25% on the entire production.

A representative from Disney- and not only a rep, but someone who makes the decisions where to film- is extremely happy with Louisiana and we are still on the top of her list. Yes, we need to be competitive. We are, and we will continue to lead once our legislators are legally allowed to meet on it again.

Anonymous said...