Filmmaker J.B. Jones left a comment over the weekend and raised an interesting question about incentives.
He was responding to the news that the city council is considering a local tax rebate for filmmakers: "This is all well and good, but it doesn't benifit [sic] the local filmmakers who work on very minimal to NO budget. Why do all the incentives have to be about money?"
On the state level, incentives currently are only available to projects with a $300,000 budget or more. That excludes microbudget filmmakers like J.B. Jones. (Why not a lower threshold? One word, I've been told: porn. It's commonsense that no state wants to be in the business of incentivizing adult entertainment.)
Shreveport does offer some fee-free filming incentives that can benefit small-budget filmmakers, if they choose to use them. Permit applications (for on-location shoots) are free. Water is free for wetting down streets. And as I understand it, filmmakers can also use public buildings for free (as long as they obtain a permit through Shreveport film liaison, Arlena Acree). Here's a little more info.
That said, if you are a microbudget filmmaker (typically $50,000 or much less), what other kinds of incentives would help you make your projects? And have you ever taken advantage of the incentives as they exist now? Let us know. It's a good time to have conversations like these.