Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hollywood: Still alive and well in Louisiana

This is a press release from a production company invested in the Pelican State:

When Hurricane Katrina came ashore, Louisiana-owned L.I.F.T. Productions had nine projects in either production or pre-production (budgets totaling over $100 million).

Louisiana film workers quickly deployed and all shows were saved by finding locations, offices, and housing in North Louisiana cities like Monroe, Shreveport, and Natchitoches.

L.I.F.T. offered all Louisiana workers, including their families and pets, housing, relocation, and stipends to establish an expansion office in North Louisiana ($1.5 million aid package).

All 500 workers on L.I.F.T.’s payroll continue to receive paychecks without interruption despite closed banks and strained communications.

Expansion to North Louisiana will not slow down expansion plans in New Orleans. On the day before the Hurricane L.I.F.T. paid earnest money on 10 acres in downtown New Orleans which will be the hub of a $150 million motion picture, television and new media studio. All financiers of the project have confirmed their commitment. L.I.F.T. Productions will reopen its corporate offices in downtown New Orleans and production offices in Harahan as soon as possible. Both offices escaped damage from Hurricane Katrina. L.I.F.T.'s Shreveport office will also permanently remain open.

“L.I.F.T. has already secured housing, production crews, and new set locations. All of this just about a week after the hurricane hit. That shows us the people here are really dedicated to this industry and rebuilding their state” said Hollywood Producer Yoram Pelman, who arrives in Louisiana in the next two weeks to begin production on the upcoming movie Roadhouse2.

Alex Schott with the Governor’s Office of Film and Television says Louisiana’s aggressive tax incentive program will not be affected by Hurricane Katrina. “Productions are committed to staying in Louisiana. And we are committed to staying open for business.”

L.I.F.T. is a Louisiana-based film studio providing financing and a full array of production services to feature films and television programs. L.I.F.T. produced almost $75,000,000 in locally-financed production in 2004 and is on track to double that in 2005 with more than 30 productions.

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