Creative & Digital Media

Your creative catalyst

For centuries, artists of every discipline have identified the Greater New Orleans Region as a source of unmatched inspiration. Today, this funky energetic region has a pulse that provides endless opportunities for creative businesses and individuals to engage, entertain and prosper. A combination of intriguing aesthetics and talent, supported by unprecedented incentives, has propelled the region into position as a major location for film and television production. In fact, Louisiana is now the top film production location outside of Los Angeles and New York. And that's just the first take. World-renowned for its music, food, architecture and fascinating culture, the Greater New Orleans Region is growing as a center for entertainment convergence, including film and television production, sound recording, advertising, software development and graphic design. The Greater New Orleans Region is your creative catalyst.

"If I had grown up in any place but New Orleans, I don't think my career would have taken off. I wouldn't have heard the music that was around this town. There was so much going on when I was a kid." - Pete Fountain, musician

"The big thing for me is there's actually a vibrant city to accompany the film community, and that's a big deal, because if you're going to a city to shoot a movie, you do have days off. I've been to some of the best restaurants in my entire life, I've heard some of the best music on the street with 70-year-old guys who are better than any other musician I've seen in my life. And every weekend's a festival. I will come back as a visitor in addition to as a movie producer." - Andrew Miano, Executive Producer, "Cirque du Freak"

The Three C's: Culture, Conditions & Cash

The Greater New Orleans Region has significant advantages over other locations for being a prime digital media hub. They are the three C's:

  1. Culture Greater New Orleans offers an intriguing lifestyle and a rich culture that is fueling the region's creative sector. Through a dynamic entrepreneurial community and burgeoning creative and digital media presence, Greater New Orleans is the ideal place to grow a business and a family. In an ever more homogeneous world, the GNO region increasingly shines as a unique beacon of culture.
  2. Conditions With a low cost of doing business, low cost of living, and a current enrollment of over 80,000 students spread out over 17 colleges and universities in the region, the region's business conditions are set for new opportunities.
  3. Cash Louisiana has some of the richest incentives in the United States. See Incentives.

Film

The Greater New Orleans Region has been showing up on the big screen since long before the state's lucrative incentive program catapulted it into the number three spot for production work. From "A Streetcar Named Desire", "Down by Law", "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", "JFK" and more recent projects like "The Mechanic" and HBO series "Treme", the area has long been a favorite of film producers in search of visually interesting locations. Recent years have seen a rapid increase in filming activity. Dozens of productions, ranging from major studio features and independent films to television series and commercial shoots, have been completed with many more planned. This extensive experience has allowed the region to build up the support services and infrastructure demanded by multiple major productions at once while remaining responsive to the needs of the smaller projects.

A vibrant hospitality industry offers more accommodations than most locations at very competitive prices. And to be sure, New Orleans famous quality of life will ensure your ability to attract talent. It's a reputation that delivers time and again, making you and your production teams comfortable here whether your stay is long, short or (we hope) permanent.

Also, it makes financial sense to film here. The state of Louisiana led the motion picture incentives movement and continues to offer an unrivaled portfolio of incentives designed to attract production work. The Greater New Orleans Region's diverse architectural styles and unique geography provide a competitive variety of location options. Within a small area, we have created every setting imaginable - whether your shoot is modern or historical, major metropolitan or traditional Southern, including everything from suburbia to urban to industrial to warehouse and riverfront settings, you will find it here. The region's geographic location provides additional setting opportunities ranging from the countryside and the waterfront to bayous and swamplands.

Major Film & Television Projects

Sound Recording

For a region that was the birthplace of Jazz, not to mention some of the nation's brightest musical stars, sound recording is a natural strength. The Greater New Orleans Region is home to dozens of recording studios offering services to local and national artists. Studio owners enjoy a creatively rich, supportive environment with no shortage of clientele. Producers will find a lower cost of production in Greater New Orleans. And with Louisiana's Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, the decision to do business in the Greater New Orleans Region is a no-brainer.

Greater New Orleans also boasts a depth and diversity of talented and experienced musicians, ensuring producers of an available talent pool to get them the right sound. The region's long-standing reputation and musical chops draw regular visits from industry innovators. The Greater New Orleans Region's rich musical history is not the whole story. The live music scene is vibrant, with many beloved venues and international music festivals keeping our musicians here. Our passion and respect for the art and business of music is seen in our educational and philanthropic institutions.

Because of the recognized talent and technical capabilities, and the recent growth in infrastructure, both Spike Lee and Steven Soderbergh use New Orleans studios and professionals to score all their productions. Music videos, documentaries and television shows have the added production advantage of globally competitive technical capabilities right where they are shooting to help reduce pre-production, production and post-production costs.

Digital Media

The Greater New Orleans Region's Digital Media sector continues to emerge. Interactive digital media businesses - including video game developers, and modeling, simulation and other innovative technologies - are taking advantage of lucrative, industry-leading financial incentives. They're also benefiting from a recent influx of young, educated professionals eager to assist in the region's renaissance. Newcomers are bringing a fresh perspective to the region and looking for creative outlets to retain them.

Greater New Orleans is ready to serve as the perfect launching pad for digital media businesses. Some of the area's creative & digital media companies include the following:

Talent

Drawn by the area's unique soul, Afro-Caribbean culture and famously funky vibe, the skilled and creative workforce in the Greater New Orleans Region is impressive - larger than any other in the southeast - and it keeps growing.

Creative Incentives

Incentive packages available to the entertainment industry in the Greater New Orleans Region are the most permissive in the U.S.

Motion Picture Industry Development Tax Credit

A transferable credit of 30 percent of the investment greater than $300,000 is available for motion picture production and an additional 5 percent on Louisiana labor.

Digital Media Incentive

Louisiana provides a tax credit of up to 35 percent for payroll and 25 percent for qualified expenditures for Digital Media productions.

Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit

The Louisiana Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit is a 25 percent tax credit designed to boost record production development by reducing the cost of new master music recordings - whether distributed by CD, digital download or as part of a soundtrack.

"Broadway South" Tax Credit

For live, Broadway-bound productions - including theater, opera, ballet, jazz, comedy revues and variety entertainment - Louisiana provides a 25 percent state tax credit on base investment and construction costs and a 10 percent tax credit on payroll for Louisiana residents.

Tax Equalization Program

If your advanced manufacturing company is planning an expansion, this program equalizes the overall taxes between a Louisiana site and a competing site in another state.

Live Performance Tax Credit

This initiative provides up to a 25 percent tax credit on live performance production or infrastructure.

Additionally, Louisiana has a transportation tax credit for the shipment of live performance-related property.

Innovative Projects and Organizations Supporting GNO 2.0

Downloads

Creative Media & Design Industry Analysis (PDF)