Film New Orleans

Locations. Resources. Incentives.

MOVIEMAKER MAGAZINE: Top 10 Cities for Filmmakers in 2012- New Orleans #1


Top 10 Cities for Filmmakers in 2012 - No. 1 New Orleans

 For 12 years now, MovieMaker magazine has been compiling its famous annual lists of “Top 10 U.S. Cities” for independent filmmakers.

Of the Top 10 Cities in 2012, we’re proud to share that nine are in states whose state film office uses Reel-Scout™. Congratulations to everyone on their hard work and dedication in bringing more filming productions to their states.

Leading this year’s list is New Orleans, Louisiana (who was at No. 3 in 2011).

Since the fall of 2000, the criteria for making the much-coveted list has remained the same. All of the top 10 cities “go the extra mile in welcoming lower-budget productions” and indie filmmakers. Striving to do so, they provide:

– Opportunity to screen new films;
– Continuing education for filmmakers;
– A creative community with strong networking events with other film professionals;
– Ample local studio space; and
– Competitive tax incentives for filmmaking.

In the coming weeks, we will visit all of 2012 top 10 locations on the MovieMaker list. To kick-off the series today, we’re featuring New Orleans, reigning this year at No. 1.

New Orleans: No. 1 City for Moviemakers in 2012

New Orleans is one of the world’s most enchanting cities. Historic, mysterious, and even tragic, New Orleans is a mosaic of exotic cultures, mouthwatering food, and mesmorizing jazz music. Today, New Orleans is still in the midst of rebuilding itself since the deadly hurricane season of 2005. The good news is the Big Easy is getting stronger each day. The atmospheric city is slowly regaining its unique multi-cultural and historical beauty before Katrina ravaged its landscapes and people seven years ago.

image of 21 Jump Street filmed in New Orleans
Photo Credit: Above photo is from here.


Even with the post-Katrina challenges, New Orleans is still as much a magnet for Hollywood now as it was in years past. Did you know that two recent blockbuster films – Green Lantern and 21 Jump Street – were both filmed in New Orleans last year? With a substantial local crew base and many filming equipment rentals available right in the city, it’s easy to see why New Orleans has always been one of Hollywood’s favorite film locations.


This year, out of New Orleans will come a slew of new movies and TV series, including another highly-anticipated vampire flick Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.


image of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter filmed in New Orleans
Photo Credit: Above photo is from here.

The Big Easy is also home to two other important filming assets — a satellite office of FotoKem, the world’s largest independently-owned post-production company, and Maison Post, a brand new film studio.

Maison Post

“One look is all it took for me to want to edit the film here,” says director Simon West who worked at Maison Post on The Mechanic. “Editing is a lengthy and painstaking process, critical to the creation of a film. It is where all the parts — picture, dialogue, sound and music — are pieced together. You need to be in a good spot to make it great.”

image of Maison Post, a film and post-production studio in New Orleans
Photo Credit: Above photo is from the Maison Post press kit.

Located in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Maison Post operates out of an elegant 150-year-old mansion. It has guest rooms with state-of-the-art post-production tools where moviemakers can camp out as long as they need to. Its services range from film editing, visual effects, animation, to sound design, and everything else in between.


Founded in 1963, Burbank, California-based FotoKem is an independently-owned, full-service post production facility. It offers a large array of services, from 3D digital filmmaking, film and video finishing, audio mixing to visual effects, restoration, and production rentals.

FotoKem has worked on many major productions including Mission: Impossible – Ghost ProtocolRampartFootloose,Contagionand – most recently – Jeff Who Lives At Home (which was also filmed in New Orleans).

photo still of Jeff Who Lives At Home - filmed in New Orleans
Photo Credit: Above photo is from here.

“Shooting in New Orleans was one of the biggest honors of my life,” says Jason Segel, one of the main stars of Jeff Who Lives At Home. “It is one of the few magical cities that exist.”

To hear more about what Jason Segel thinks of New Orleans, check out his charming YouTube interview video.

Last year, FotoKem expanded its operations to New Orleans. It opens a new office near the French Quarter. Why New Orleans? The answer is simple. In addition to Louisiana’s generous state-wide film incentives, New Orleans is also where many existing FotoKem customers are shooting their film and television projects.

New Orleans and Louisiana offer one of the best film tax incentive programs in the country. A few of the perks gained from filming in New Orleans are:

  • 30% tax credit on qualified direct production Louisiana expenditures;
  • Additional 5% tax credit for payroll expenditures to Louisiana residents;
  • No annual cap; and
  • Tax credits may be used to offset income tax liability in Louisiana (corporate or personal), sold back to the State for 85% face value, or brokered on the open market.

For more details on additional tax incentives and filming in New Orleans and Louisiana, visit the Film New Orleans andLouisiana Entertainment.