2. New Orleans, Louisiana
In more ways than one New Orleans continues to be a city on the mend. Thirteen years after floodwall failures led to devastating flooding during Hurricane Katrina, two gigantic new pump stations and barrier gates were completed in 2018, representing the culmination of over $14 billion worth of post-Katrina repairs. Further down the priority ladder, but still important, 2018 saw the city rebounding from its dip in film production that followed the 2015 decision to plug a budget cap with a cap on tax credits at $180 million per year. Adjustments made in 2017 include new incentives for the creation of good, lasting employment for state residents and a five percent credit for filming throughout the state, outside of the New Orleans area.
“The legislative changes to the state’s tax credit program re-established industry confidence in Louisiana,” says Film New Orleans Interim Director Carroll Morton. “The result has been a boom for filming in New Orleans with the city’s 15-plus years of building infrastructure, studios and a deeply experienced crew base attracting productions.” He goes on to say that the city is a natural t with the film industry because the latter “blends with our rich traditions in music, food, and festivals. The end of 2018 is experiencing close to a record level of film activity, and I’m happy to report there’s more on the way for 2019.”