New Orleans sees record breaking year for film industry

New Orleans, La. - Film New Orleans within the Mayor's Office of Cultural Economy announced that 2012 was a record-breaking year for New Orleans-based filming, with a 23% increase in spending for tax credit film projects (TV, films and commercials with budgets over $300,000). Year-end projections for 2012 show $669.8 million in direct spending for 61 tax credit projects in New Orleans, which compares to $544 million in direct spending for 46 tax credit projects in 2011.

Notable projects filmed in New Orleans in 2012 included Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Quentin Tarantino; Now You See Me, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo; the third and fourth seasons of HBO's Treme, starring New Orleans native Wendell Pierce; and Empire State, starring Dwayne Johnson, Liam Hemsworth and Emma Roberts.

New Orleans boasts the most diverse portfolio of film and television work in the state of Louisiana, catering to large studio features, small independent projects and a wide range of television and commercial productions. And despite its distinctive look, New Orleans is earning a reputation as a convincing stand-in for other locations. For example, the New Orleans-filmed Empire State is set in New York, and the anything-but-generic Crescent City played the role of anywhere USA in the movie 21 Jump Street, released in 2012.