The Sound of air
reverberating through brass echoes in the damp, still air under a morning sun;
the smell of buttery croissants dances with the chatter of New Orleans’ Tremé
neighborhood. This is Louisiana. Ten years after Hurricane Katrina’s storm
surge inundated the state, Cajun energy is on the rise.
cultural melting pot of French, African and American cultures is redefining
itself with experimental civil reengineering and blank-slate opportunity. With
open arms the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development has
welcomed the creative minds of the day, pushing tax credits and other stimuli
to attract film and television productions to its gulf shores.
The film and
television industry has answered the call by returning to Louisiana to film
world class productions in state-of-the-art facilities while creating a
positive environmental, social and economic impact on a state in the throes of
Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development,
says the growing number of film and television productions filming in Louisiana
has been key to its revitalization. "In October of 2005, when nobody was
hiring, the film and TV productions stuck with us,” Stelly told us. "They hired
Louisianans, invested in our communities and acted as a catalyst for the
rebirth of our state as a hip, creative and attractive location for motion
incentives, which include up to 30% transferable tax credit on qualified
in-state expenditures including resident and non-resident labor and an
additional 10% payroll credit for in-state labor, are bringing in the largest
names in film and television. In 2005, Louisiana attracted 10 large productions
to film within the state; today, it is recruiting more than 100 projects
amplifying their positive impact on the community by integrating more social
and environmental initiatives into the process. From food donations and
celebrity appearances, "these small measures are making a big difference,”
a significant value proposition to studios while giving productions an
incredible opportunity to extend a helping hand to post-Katrina revitalization
Production Environmental and Social
Initiatives Support Louisiana’s Rebirth
Here are just a few of the environmental and social initiatives on
recent productions in the state.
Pictures’ Jurassic World
Initiatives: Through the filming
of this world record-setting feature film, the production drew inspiration from
the NBCUniversal Sustainable Production program to integrate
environmentally-conscious practices into daily set routines. The production
office strongly encouraged the set crew to save paper by requesting hard copies
of lists and schedules only on an as-needed basis.
By defaulting to
digital distribution, the film reduced paper use by 50% compared to
similar-sized productions. The printing reductions also boosted security around
the highly-confidential production environment, while simultaneously cutting
printing costs and conserving natural resources.
information on reducing paper use on set check out Nine Ways to Reduce
Production Paper Use.
Initiatives: While filming in New
Orleans, the production office forged a new partnership with Second Harvest of
New Orleans, a non-profit on a mission to end hunger in South Louisiana.
Through daily communication between the production office and the donations
coordinator at Second Harvest, hundreds of meals worth of food were
successfully recovered and donated to local hunger-relief organizations. At the
end of a meal, catering packed up excess prepared food onto disposable trays
and handed it off to the receiving agency.
At wrap, the
greens department received approval to coordinate and organize the donation of
several palm trees and other plants used as set dressing to the Audubon Nature
Institute of New Orleans. The donation assisted with the beautification of a
local non-profit and kept the plants and trees from entering a landfill.
Pictures’ Daddy’s Home
Initiatives: Throughout filming,
the Daddy’s Home production operated with a low paper directive,
encouraging digital distribution of dailies, double-sided printing and
recycling throughout departments. Additionally, Klean Kanteens were ordered for
all crew members, reducing waste from plastic water bottles and paper
policy was strictly enforced throughout the production with empty trailers
triggering generators to shut off.
Initiatives: Upon wrap the
production made set asset donations to the Salvation Army, the Green Project,
The New Orleans Mission, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity.
Screen Gems’ When the Bough Breaks
Initiatives: In addition to
standard green production efforts, during pre-production, the Screen Gems
studio office in Culver City worked closely with the production office in New
Orleans to make sure there would be as little on-set waste as possible. In
preparation, the art and construction departments pre-arranged recycling
methods for various materials and set assets after use. Reusable water bottles
were purchased for the cast and crew to avoid disposable plastic bottle use.
Initiatives: Over the course of
the production, 354 lbs. of prepared but unserved food were donated to a
homeless shelter, creating 272 meals and reducing landfill-associated CO2
emissions by 269 lbs. Upon wrap, the production donated a tree to be planted
for each day of filming to the New Orleans City Park. Additionally, more than
70 items including four live oak trees, 20 camellias, six ligustrums, 40
azaleas and a refrigerator were donated to local organizations such as Habitat
for Humanity. Furthermore, in an effort to normalize sustainable behavior,
reusable coffee cups, dishes and grocery bags were used on-screen.
A decade after
Katrina, there’s a new light on the state of Louisiana. Setting
environmental and social initiatives on the front end and measuring success
with dedicated tools like a carbon calculator or food donation tracker will
ensure the continued improvement of industry efforts in Louisiana and beyond. ¢