Hollywood South is not only alive and well, but thriving in Jefferson Parish. This year, an impressive line up of film projects earned about $335,000 from the parish's own film incentive program.
Recipients include the award winning 'Dallas Buyers Club', 'This Is The End', 'Grudge Match' and 'Hateship Loveship'. The productions took advantage of a program that gives them 3 percent cash back on what they spend in Jefferson Parish.
'Jefferson Parish's program is audited,' Jeffeson Parish President John Young said. 'It has to be money spent on facilities, renting facilities in Jefferson Parish, and it has to be salaries paid to Jefferson Parish residents.'
Young said $2 million in incentives has resulted in $88 million in local spending over the past 10 years.
Josh Rongey uses the program to help attract production companies to his G Street Films facility in Elmwood. He and his father turned an old warehouse into storage and shooting space for the film industry.Their latest tenant is the new NCIS-New Orleans TV show on CBS.
'I'm like Dad, I really think if we clear out some of these warehouses and we do some of these things, if we meet the right people we can get in this, we can do this,' Rongey said.
Rongey said they've been able to grow their business over the past five years, based in part on what the Jefferson Parish film incentive program is doing for the major producers they work with.
'The kicker that Jefferson Parish gives, that extra percentage, that 3 percent does make a difference. We're literally looking at expanding, building a sound stage outside. We acquired some property,' Rongey said.
Young said the film incentive program helps Jefferson Parish compete with New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport, which also have thriving movie studios.
'It puts us on the map,' Young said. 'We've had some companies relocate here to service the film industry.'