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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Cash Louisiana has some of the richest incentives in the United States. See Incentives.
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
- Ray, Universal, Anvil Films, Baldwin Entertainment Group, Bristol Bay Productions
- Treme, HBO
- The Green Lantern, Warner Bros
- Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Summit Entertainment
- Real World: Season 24, MTV
- Memphis Beat (Delta Blues), TNT
- Dukes of Hazard, Gerber Pictures, Warner Bros Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures
- All the King's Men, Columbia Pictures
- Failure to Launch, Paramount Pictures
- Déja Vu, Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Scott Free Productions
- When the Levees Broke, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, HBO
- Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Paramount Pictures, Kennedy-Marshall Company, Warner Bros
- Imagination Movers, Zydeco Productions, Disney Channel
- Cirque du Freak, Donner's Company, Universal Pictures
- Final Destination IV, New Line Cinema
- Twelve Rounds, The Mark Gordon Company, WWE Films
- Mardi Gras, Sony Pictures
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.
- Loyola University's Music Industry Studies - the premier program of its kind in the country, incorporating both music and business into a unique curriculum
- Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at Loyola University
- The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA)
- The University of New Orleans Jazz Studies program run by Jazz Artist in Residence Irvin Mayfield Creative convergence is clearly evident in the region's sound recording industry.
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.
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:
- Turbosquid (on-line marketplace for 3D images)
- Bayou FX (visual effects studio)
- Factory VFX (visual effects studio)
- Storyville (post production)
- Maison Post (post production)
- Du Monde (visual effects studio)
- Susco Solutions (software development)
- Touch Studios (app designer)
- Recievables Exchange (electronic marketplace for trading accounts receivable)
- Carrolton Technology Partners (programming and web/app development)
- iSeatz (on-line travel and entertainment solutions)
- Federated Sample (market research technology firm)
- Bipolar Bear Productions (post house)
- Incendi (3D design house)
- The Mothership FX (post house)
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.
- The region is home to several high-quality entertainment production education and vocational training programs, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE478) reports that the New Orleans region has over 400 members. This does not include the region's non-union film workers allowed by the state's Right-to-Work Status. This large crew base allows productions to hire locally, avoiding per diem payments and travel costs and maximizing tax incentives.
- Louisiana's film industry has experienced an annual employment growth rate of 23 percent each year - the highest in the nation.
- The Greater New Orleans Region is home to 11 major colleges and universities, many offering specialized creative media and design offerings
- The region's cultural and entertainment offerings are well-suited to creative sensibilities. New Orleans has year-round outdoor festivals, Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, world-famous dining, unparalleled nightlife, ample live music, top-notch shopping, countless museums and galleries, several professional sporting teams, and world-class outdoor activities.
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.
- A tax credit equal to 10 percent of the base investment for expenditures if $100,000 to $300,000;
- A tax credit equal to 20 percent of the base investment for expenditures of $300,000 to $1 million; and
- A tax credit equal to 35 percent of the base investment for expenditures over $1 million.
Additionally, Louisiana has a transportation tax credit for the shipment of live performance-related property.
Innovative Projects and Organizations Supporting GNO 2.0
- Idea Village: Non-profit dedicated to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the New Orleans region, as well as fostering the development of young professionals
- New Orleans Startup Fund: a nonprofit venture fund focused on business creation and innovation in the 10-parish Greater New Orleans region
- Startup New Orleans: Local technology entrepreneurs are marketing the region, as one
- Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans: Networking and resources for entrepreneurs addressing social issues
- 504ward: Network to connect, retain and attract young professionals from diverse backgrounds for a sustainable New Orleans
- Village de L'est: 600 acre tract in New Orleans East that has attracted thousands of Vietnamese-Americans
- Co-working spaces: Several hubs have been established around the region that provide businesses with low cost rent, a creative atmosphere and a space for entrepreneurs to call home. Hubs include the IP Building, IP North, Icehouse, Launchpad, Entrepreneur's Row