Stelly: La. film industry now competing on global scale

Published Jan 15, 2014

In 2012 more than $1.1 billion in business sales were generated in Louisiana due to entertainment-industry projects, according to an economic impact study commissioned by Louisiana Entertainment, which is part of LED. Speaking to the Alexandria Rotary Club on Tuesday, Louisiana Entertainment Executive Director Chris Stelly said film, TV and other productions also supported 15,000 jobs in 2012 and generated more than $770 million in earnings, The Town Talk reports. "The economic benefits of these programs are tremendous," Stelly said. "It's amazing what this industry does for our state." The state of Louisiana offers tax credits in four areas—motion picture, digital interactive media, sound recording and live performance. By far, film and TV makes up the biggest piece of the state's entertainment pie, Stelly said. Reality TV, of course, has been one of Louisiana's most notable recent exports, though Stelly said series such as Duck Dynasty and Swamp People are actually a small part of the state's entertainment presence, making up only about 1% of productions. "The perception of Louisiana as the reality capital of the world isn't quite true," he said. "It's just the popularity of those shows distorts things a little bit. You can't go anywhere without seeing the Duck Dynasty guys." Louisiana, Stelly said, is a "pioneer" that's "blazing new trails" with its focus on building an entertainment economy that's lucrative and sustainable. "The thing I try to let people know is we're competing on a global scale," he said. "We're not just competing against Georgia or New Mexico or other states that have copied our program. We are one of the top five production destinations in the world."