Last night, I spoke to the La. Produces meetup group about the state's movie industry. I particularly focused on The Shreve.
I offered some big-picture numbers, which I've collected during three years of reporting. Anytime you have conversations about the industry's health and future, it's good to have these stats in mind.
My numbers come from various, credible sources – noted below. They partially tell us what's at stake as the industry looks ahead.
It's a hyper-competitive world of film industry tax credits out there – Michigan and Georgia have upped their games something fierce – so Louisiana is going to have to think smart about its future.
Before you record these stats in your last will and testaments, it's important to note that these estimated figures change quickly. The next time I do an industry roundup story, they'll be revised (upwards, most likely).
That said, let's run the numbers.
The size of Louisiana's movie industry has grown quickly since the Louisiana Motion Picture Incentive Act was passed in 2002. In terms of total production budget numbers, the industry amounts to:
- 2002: $10.5 million
- 2003: $241 million
- 2004: $431 million
- 2005: $748 million
- 2006: $530.5 million
- 2007: $600 million (57 projects)
- 2008: TBD (60 projects thus far)
Louisiana's movie industry payroll grows at an annual rate of 23 percent.
- There has been $204 million in direct payroll from late 2002 to present.
- In 2003, La. payroll was $19 million.
- In 2007, La. payroll was $78 million.
In 2005, productions were spending one-third of their budgets in the state. In 2007, that figure has jumped to 87 percent.
Chris Stelly, director of film and TV for Louisiana Economic Development, now puts the direct economic impact total from 2002 to present at more than $1 billion. Year by year, in-state spends break down as:
- 2002 (partial year): $3.5 million
- 2003: $80 million
- 2004: $144 million
- 2005: $251 million
- 2006: $184.5 million
- 2007: $522 million
NORTHWEST LOUISIANA'S NUMBERS
Northwest Louisiana's movie industry has attracted 54 movie and TV projects since late 2005 that have amounted to roughly $620 million in aggregated budgets. (A conservative estimate, folks.)
- 2005: 6 projects at $147.8 million
- 2006 8 projects at $90.7 million
- 2007: 22 projects at $181.5 million
- 2008: 18-20 projects at est. $200 million (a rough figure)
In 2007, northwest La.'s industry created 557 production days and more than 2,000 freelance crew jobs.
SOURCES: Times Research, Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development (Chris Stelly), Centenary College's Frost School of Business (Christopher Martin).
PHOTO: Gannett Photo Service.