Group interested in film industry discusses future of Hollywood South

Group interested in film industry discusses future of Hollywood South

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The executive director of Louisiana Entertainment said there are still questions around the state about the future of Hollywood South.

Chris Stelly said there is still interest in Louisiana and lots of production planned for the fall. But one local writer feels some projects have more support than others.

Charles Bush, of New Roads, began filming what he hopes will be a webisode series back in May. He wrote "The Alien," a six episode series about an alien with a mission to save Earth from a fusion reaction. Something he hopes will make it beyond a YouTube channel.

"As soon as it's done, I'm going to shop it around to everybody I can think of. Netflix, Hulu, Sci-Fi channel," Bush said.

Bush said all the actors and the crew were local people. They even worked for free while filming the first episode.

"My carrot was an agreement with SAG. Any actors that appear are eligible to join," he said. That's an option SAG offers low-budget projects.

Bush said if others are like him and trying to get started with not much venture capital, the programs in Louisiana don't offer the money they need up front.

His micro-budget, $1,000, is all out-of-pocket. He was unable to use any tax credits the state uses to bring in big films.

"We have 10 to 15 projects that are currently here at various stages of production," said Chris Stelly, the executive director of Louisiana Entertainment.

He said they are getting lots of applications for filming and those requests are forwarded on to groups like Film Pointe, in Pointe Coupee Parish. They scout out locations for producers and connect them with whatever their vision may be.

On Wednesday, they all met to discuss the future of filming in the state. Stelly said there is been lots of concern since the legislators changed the tax incentives this session.

He said there is now an effort to help films with budgets between $50,000 to $300,000. But with Bush's budget even smaller than that, he's hoping lower budget films like his will eventually get more support from the state.

"I have a desk drawer full of scripts I've written. Other ideas for TV shows, couple reality shows. Everybody wants a piece of the Hollywood pie," Bush said.

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