The film and entertainment industry spent an estimated 1.4 billion dollars in Louisiana last year, breaking 2010's record of 900 million dollars. Part of that is thanks to a state tax program, which gives film and recording studios a 30 percent tax credit on all in-state production costs.
Scott Crompton of Blade Studios in Shreveport said it had a lot to do with the decision to develop a state of the art recording studio in the Ark-La-Tex. "We set out to build one and without the state's inventives and the programs and businesses that were coming here because of them, you know, it would have never happened," he said.
Since its opening in April, Blade has gone on to work with several artists, including a pool of local talent. "This is where it's happening. There's amazing talent here," said Crompton.
Just across the hall from Blade Studios sits Moonbot Studios, an animated film company that recently won an Oscar for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mister Morris Lessmore. Lampton Enochs, Brandon Oldenburg and William Joyce opened shop in 2009, largely thanks to the tax credit, but also because the three have close ties to the area.
Enochs said it's the tax credit that made it possible for them to be here, but it's the city that made them stay. "It was amazing. We came back to Shreveport and they threw us a parade and it was surreal and wonderful," he said.
More than 100 film projects were produced in Louisiana last year alone, with industry analysts predicting at least that many this year.