Hollywood: Leaving Louisiana


With New Mexico’s media continuing to slavishly repeat spin about film and television production in the Land of Enchantment, the Associated Press has issued an instructive story on how studios play states for suckers:

Louisiana’s once-booming film industry — dubbed “Hollywood South” — was off by as much as 90 percent this past year, according to the Louisiana Film Entertainment Association. The drop is all attributed to the state’s decision to wind down its generous incentives last July, scaring off movie makers.

Louisiana has handed a whopping $1.4 billion to productions — revenue it wishes it still had, given the state’s budget woes.

Hollywood’s money men aren’t stupid. Their approach to what California calls “runaway productions” is simple: Grab the cash for as long as you can, and hit the road when there’s a better offer. There is zero interest in building sustainable entertainment workforces and infrastructure — in New Mexico, or anywhere else. Studios exist to make profits, and states’ economic-development dreams are irrelevant. It’s all about the bottom line.

But rest assured, New Mexico will stick with its subsidization strategy. Probably no public policy in the Land of Enchantment enjoys more bipartisan support. And for the record, in recent years, job growth in New Mexico’s film-and-television “industry” has been nonexistent. In 2015, there were fewer employees than in 2012:


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics