Michelle Southern reporting.
The Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association has launched a campaign aimed at urging the legislature to make changes to the state’s film tax credit program. Jim Hornbeak sits on the LFEA's Executive Board. He says when the cap was implemented a few years ago, it crippled the stability and predictability of the industry.
"And it had an unintended ripple effect that impacted small businesses and industries throughout the state," said Hornbeak. "The hospitality industry, the real estate industry, the tourism industry, restaurants, all felt it."
The state's film-tax incentive program was capped in 2015 at $180 million dollars a year, and a lot of the industry left for better deals in other states. Hornbeak says the "Fight For Film" effort is all about putting faces to those Louisianians who thrive when a movie is filmed here.
"As storytellers, it puts real people and real home grown businesses who have felt the impact of the change in the film industry with the tax credit laws," said Hornbeak.
Hornbeak, who is also the Chief Marketing Officer of Ranch Film Studios in Chalmette, says the film industry has supported 13,000 jobs with average salary of $60,000 per year. He's hoping to see some tweaks in the existing cap.
"One of the things is moving it from a back-end to a front-end, which we feel would be the biggest change," said Hornbeak. "It would allow us to have stability from a producer's standpoint."