Louisiana

VIDEO: Kevin Hart Works Out with LSU Football Team

by Arthur Vandelay on July 16, 2015

In this image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Kevin Hart, left, and Will Ferrell appear in a scene from the film, "Get Hard." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Patti Perret) (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Patti Perret)

Get Hard star Kevin Hart recently spent some time with the LSU Football team at the Louisiana university’s world class facility in Baton Rouge. Alongside the team, he was joined by writer Harry Ratchford, who recently wrote for HBO’s great new show Ballers and BET’s Comicview.

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louisiana-baton-rouge-state-capitolAfter a strange, whirlwind legislative session that concluded with lawmakers passing new legislation with only two minutes left in session, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed that legislation (HB829) into law.

The new law will, for the first time, place a type of cap on the film incentives that have allowed Louisiana to become the worldwide leader in physical production. That reign has included hosting Jurassic World, which just had the most successful weekend in the history of the box office.

While merely the word “cap” strikes fear into the hearts of some, there are many in the Louisiana film industry and abroad that are excited about new positive provisions in the law.

The Louisiana Film & Entertainment Association, which is comprised of film industry businesses, employees and other stakeholders, has promised to challenge parts of the law in court that are thought to be unconstitutional.

As I understand it, the law will not cap the amount of tax credits issued to filmmakers, but will affect how many tax credits can be redeemed in a given year, capping that amount at $180 million. That cap on credit redemptions will exist for three years, at which point it will sunset.

There is also a $30 million dollar cap per project, which will only impact the very largest studio projects in Louisiana, and a slew of other provisions, many of which are seen as enormous coups for the entertainment industry, including up to a 55% tax credit on indigenous productions and up to a 60% tax credit on music.

Developing…

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The long-awaited results of a new film and entertainment economic impact study, funded by LFEA’s “Here’s My Two Bucks” Kickstarter campaign, are finally in. Yesterday, the new study conducted by HR&A Advisors were made public and the results are impressive, including the economic impact of international tourism induced by film and television shows like Focus and American Horror Story that are set in Louisiana (although because the most recent data was from 2013, it excludes the impact of NCIS: New Orleans, the new show which is now one of the most popular worldwide).

You can read the report in its entirety here.

Here is the joint press release from LFEA and the MPAA. More to come as we closely review the study.

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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, a new statewide economic and fiscal impact analysis by HR&A Advisors, Inc. (“HR&A”) reveals that the Louisiana State Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit supported up to 33,520 jobs, generating up to $1.2 billion in personal income, and up to $4 billion in economic output in 2013.

These figures include both production spending and visitor spending attributable to motion picture- and- television- induced tourism.

Since the inception of the credit in Louisiana in 2002, Louisiana’s motion picture and television industry has flourished, attracting major productions to the state and creating long-lasting ancillary benefits. From 2002 to 2013, total Louisiana motion picture and television production employment increased by over 5,000 jobs, with estimated full credit/calendar year 2013 production spending topping $1 billion. Significant infrastructure investment has supported the growth of the industry, with three large purpose-built studios—Second Line Stages (New Orleans), Celtic Media Centre (Baton Rouge), and Millennium Studios (Shreveport) — established across the state.

In 2013, production spending associated with the Credit significantly benefited the Louisiana economy, supporting 10,800 jobs, generating $471.2 million in personal income and $1.6 billion in economic output. This high-level of production introduces Louisiana to audiences across the nation and around the world, increasing tourism that benefits local businesses and workers. In fact, based on a survey of 1,381 recent visitors to Louisiana, the HR&A study finds that 14.5% of domestic, out-of-state, leisure visitors can be considered motion picture- and/or television- induced tourists. In 2013, visitor spending attributable to motion picture- and television- induced tourism in the state supported up to 22,720 jobs in Louisiana, generating up to $766.6 million in personal income and up to $2.4 billion in economic output. These figures come on the heels of an announcement from Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne that 2014 was another record year for Louisiana tourism.
There’s more!

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After receiving news that Keri Russell and House of Cards star Maheshala Ali were joining Matthew McConaughey in Free State of Jones, we now get our first look at McConaughey as a war weary Civil War soldier. McConaughey will play Newton Knight, a farmer turned Confederate soldier.

The image above shows Knight thrust into battle pulling on to a young soldier’s coat in hopes of saving his life. The treacherous sky behind them represents the nation’s unrelenting peril.

Filming on Free State of Jones is currently underway in Louisiana and will continue to shoot in Jones County, Mississippi. Keri Russell will star alongside of McConaughey as his wife while Mahershala Ali will play an escaped slave who runs with Knight as they distance themselves from the Confederacy. Knight becomes indifferent to the South’s plans and flees to find serenity in Jones County, Mississippi. While in hiding, Knight plots a rebellion with farmers, slaves and townspeople of Jones County to manufacture a massive armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Jones County, Mississippi was also a mixed community at the time, which was incredibly controversial.

All three actors have found success while filming in Louisiana. Russell’s role in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes received high praise. Ali played alongside Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And Matthew McConaughey’s career resurgence was shot almost entirely in Louisiana, with roles in Killer Joe, Dallas Buyers Club and True Detective.

The Hunger Games director Gary Ross will produce and direct from his own script. Gary Ross started the Hunger Games franchise before leaving to direct other more “serious” projects, including Free State of Jones. It will be interesting to watch Ross direct major battle scenes compared to the common one-on-one battles we see in The Hunger Games. The release of the film is set for March 11, 2016.

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A veteran stage and screen presence, James DuMont has been in the business since he was a child. In the mid-1960s, his cherubic face earned him a gig as the Gerber baby. It was the first of many to come, as DuMont travelled from Chicago to Boston to New York to Los Angeles and now to Louisiana. His storied career includes roles in Seabiscuit, SWAT, War of the Worlds and Ocean’s Thirteen.

Since coming to Louisiana, DuMont’s career has continued to climb with roles in Treme and American Horror Story, reaching a high point with 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club. DuMont portrayed the father of Rayon, a role that would earn Jared Leto an Oscar. Since then, he’s appeared in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, the James Brown biopic Get On Up, When the Game Stands Tall and Ryan Phillipe’s directorial debut Catch Hell. He’s also recently wrapped a movie millions of years in the making: Jurassic World.

Over the course of a few hours, we discussed his long career, his family, his investment in Louisiana and how he still just likes to play on set.

When did you decide you wanted to be an actor?

I was born and raised in Chicago and New York. My dad was in New York and my mom was in Chicago and we switched around back and forth. When I grew up, those were my hometowns. At a certain point, my mom was a fashion model, so I got photographs as a baby. I was the Gerber baby in 1966. So that started off a whole bunch of print stuff, like Sears catalogs and things like that. And then I started doing some commercials. Later, the Chicago film scene started to kick up a bit.

By the time I was in high school, there was this dance audition for Blues Brothers. I was a huge fan of the Blues Brothers from Saturday Night Live, so I did this dance audition. My friends gave me a little bit of a hard time about it because we were baseball players. And I got the gig! I was one of the kids dancing in the streets. I got my SAG card from that movie, and then did a bunch of commercials and stuff and I was able to use that money later on in college.

I got a scholarship to go to Boston University, which is where Michael Chiklis and I connected. I only went for a couple of years, and then the summer between my sophomore year and my junior year, I just decided I didn’t want to go back to college. And they didn’t invite me back! So it worked out pretty good. I was like, “Wait, so I can just go right to working in New York theatre?”

325-DuMont-webI was subletting an apartment from Francis Conroy, who is now in American Horror Story, and I decided to stay. I moved to New York when I was nineteen or twenty. She recommended a theatre company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, which is a forty-five year old theatre company with John Patrick Shandley, David Mamet…all these incredible playwrights, along with younger up and coming playwrights like Alan Ball. There were these writers there, and we could really build experience. I cleaned toilets and I stage-managed and I read every reading I possibly could. A couple of readings led to performances in productions! And a few people in those productions had agents. All of a sudden, my friend David Eigenberg (who was on Sex and the City) was like, “Dude, I’m about to go do a movie! You could be my understudy!” I was literally doing some student film down in Brooklyn.

I worked my way all the way up from deep, deep Brooklyn, with track fires and police action. One time, I ran literally from 57th Street all the way to 65th Street, ran in the door for a role, and it turns out this character is The Hustler. He’s totally naked in the show. The only costume is socks. I had an undressing room rather than a dressing room. And I booked the gig. It was two weeks off-Broadway, making more money than I ever did DJing or catering! And I’m in this off-Broadway play with Swoosie Kurtz and Courtney B. Vance called Six Degrees of Separation. We did that for about two years.

There’s more!

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The 2015 Golden Globe Awards Nominations

by Arthur Vandelay

The nominations for the 2015 Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning. Although the Globes are not considered an accurate predictor of the Academy Awards, they are a popular celebration of film and television culture that help determine some of the buzz around possible Oscar contenders. Among the nominations announced today of note to our readers in […]

On the Lot at Quixote New Orleans

by Micah Haley

“We have now been here for nearly three years and have loved contributing to the Louisiana film infrastructure,” says Mikel Elliott, CEO of Quixote, the respected Los Angeles brand that now has a fully functioning studio facility in New Orleans. “We first started in New Orleans with our expendables operation then we began developing the film studio. […]

POSTER: Nicolas Cage Loosens His Tie for ‘Left Behind’

by Arthur Vandelay

Nicolas Cage stars in Left Behind, the post-apocalyptic thriller based on the faith-based book of the same name. The film was shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

EXCLUSIVE TRAILER: All American Horror

by Arthur Vandelay

All American Horror, which shot in Louisiana under the working title Jerome High’s Scream Team, has received its first trailer. The horror film, which mixes elements of Grease with the occult, stars Eric Roberts, Zac Waggener, Claire Garrett, Wes Lagarde, Michelle West, Aaron Jay Rome and David Joseph Martinez. John Swider directed the film. Wayne Morgan and Murray Roth are […]