Lights, camera, action! Those words haven’t been spoken at Celtic Studios in Baton Rouge in over a year, but that could change soon, as Louisiana’s film industry is starting to show signs of life. Executive Director Patrick Mulhearn says calls are starting to come in from companies who want to film in Louisiana. He says it’s encouraging to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Going an entire year without a major production is a serious problem, and so it’s nice to know that we could be back in business very soon,” Mulhearn said.
Louisiana’s film industry has seen a downturn as a result of legislation approved in 2015 that placed a capped on the state’s film tax credit program. But Mulhearn believes film companies now have a better understanding of the credits available. He hopes next year, lawmakers will switch the program from a back end cap to a front end cap.
“A front end cap actually means that it will limit the number of obligations that it makes and not the number that it keeps, and if the state of Louisiana does business that way then people will want to do business here,” Mulhearn said.
Mulhearn says he met with two different productions on the same day, and he hasn’t done that in over a year. He says it looks like things are looking up for Louisiana’s film industry.
“That’s usually a sigh that somebody’s getting ready to book some stage space, which means that a production will becoming sooner rather than later,” Mulhearn said.