LT. GOV. LANDRIEU: CREATIVE INDUSTRIES EMERGING AS MAJOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ENGINE FOR LOUISIANA -- 08/01/2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2005
LT. GOV. LANDRIEU: CREATIVE INDUSTRIES EMERGING
Details Upcoming “Cultural Economy Initiative Summit II”;
Baton Rouge, LA – Speaking at a press conference held at the Shaw Center in Baton Rouge, Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu described the creative industries as a driving force in Louisiana’s economy. Landrieu discussed the details of the upcoming Cultural Economy Initiative Summit II, and reported on his trip to Los Angeles where he pitched Hollywood producers and studio executives on Louisiana’s film tax incentive program.
At the press conference, Landrieu recapped a productive trip to Los Angeles, where he met with four different studios and addressed the Producers Guild of America. The most encouraging development involved Threshold Animation Studios, a company interested in building a state of the art facility in New Orleans that will provide space for studios and training, as well as a Hollywood based digital theme park inside the facility.
“I am excited about this project because this company understands the symbiotic relationship between the tourism market in Louisiana and our growing film industry,” said Landrieu. “This project could be over $150 million investment in building infrastructure we need in our state and they are ready to get started.”
Over the next couple of months, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor will work with the Department of Economic Development, the City of New Orleans and other necessary entities to make sure that we do everything we can to get this project off the ground.
Based on meetings with studio executives, a number of projects are in-line for production in Louisiana. Sony has just wrapped up All the Kings Men and reported that they loved working in Louisiana. They expect this picture to be great and we are going to work with them to do a release in Louisiana. Sony also was particularly interested in sound recording and digital production.
Landrieu stated, “We are going to explore the opportunity to create a niche market with our great music talent in Louisiana in scoring films.”
One major will be in Louisiana in August to scout a new TV series, while another major studio has a project they are prepping to begin shooting in the fall. We learned of seven or eight potential film projects that will be coming to Louisiana in the near future.
“We feel comfortable that the interest in Louisiana remains high and that we should continue to make smart investments in growing this industry and making it a permanent part of Louisiana’s economy,” Landrieu said.
As the keynote speaker at Producers Guild of America, Landrieu spoke to almost 150 movie producers and approximately 12 film commissioners from other states about the Louisiana incentive package. The Producers Guild hosted the seminar designed to halt “runaway productions” or those that are outsourced overseas.
“Canada does approximately $5 billion worth of movie production annually, but most studios and producers would rather film in the United States,” Landrieu said. “Louisiana is well-positioned to receive a significant portion of this business if we stay dedicated to growing this industry.”
Landrieu added, “Louisiana truly shined as we led the Producer’s Guild seminar on state tax incentives. We learned that we still have one of the most competitive incentives, but that other states are looking at what we are doing. If we don’t get serious in Louisiana about infrastructure and workforce development we will lose any competitive advantage Louisiana currently has.”
For full text of the Lt. Governor’s speech to the Producers Guild, please contact the press office at 225.342.5947.
Cultural Economy Summit II, Louisiana’s Next Steps
At the Cultural Economy Summit II, the results of a comprehensive study on Louisiana’s cultural economy will be unveiled. The report, “Louisiana: Where Culture Means Business,” defines the potential of art and culture as a viable sector of the state’s overall economy.
Of the report, Landrieu said, “It is candid, forthcoming, insightful and practical. It provides critical research, concrete facts, and perceptive suggestions that will be the basis the strategic plan to build Louisiana’s cultural economy.”
The study funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and conducted by cultural economists from Mt Auburn Associates. Research was compiled over a 10-month period.
In addition to hearing this groundbreaking report, participants may discuss the Cultural Economy’s next steps at the following four workshops: Institute of Culture in the Americas- Education Consortium on Capacity Building; Market Development and Support for Cultural Industries;
The conference will also feature a special tribute to Chief Tootie Montana.
All interested parties are encouraged to register for this one-day conference. The conference will be held on Thursday, August 25th at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel located at 500 Canal Street. There is a registration fee of $50 per attendee. For more information and to register, call 504.888.7608 or visit www.crt.state.la.us/culturaleconomy.