OUT TO LUNCH finds creative business consultant Aileen Bennett conducting business Acadiana style: over lunch. Each week Aileen invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join her. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.
Over the last couple of years we’ve had to deal with the fallout from big changes in the oil business. We have been far less battered by equally cataclysmic changes in the film business.
If you haven’t been keeping up, here’s the thumbnail sketch. In 2003 the Louisiana legislature decided to attract film production to the state by giving film productions 30% of their budget. In cash. That meant, if you were a Hollywood film producer making a $100m movie here, the State of Louisiana would write you a check for $33m. We started getting more film production than we’d ever dreamed of. So much so that Louisiana came to be known as “Hollywood South.” It seemed like a win-win. Hundreds of local people became film crew and started working non-stop. Mostly in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport.
In the middle of 2014, the Legislature realized it was giving away about $250m a year - to already wealthy film executives. And that figure was about to balloon. So they put a much lower cap on the amount of money they would give away in any one year. As a result, most of the film companies instantly picked up left.
Through all these Hollywood South ups and downs, here in Acadiana we’ve managed to keep our film business humming along quietly.
Actor and Producer Marcus Brown was raised in Jeanerette and lives in Lafayette. You may have seen Marcus in the Academy Award winning movie, 12 Years A slave - or in any of the 74 movies or TV shows he’s been in since 1995. Marcus’s production company, Believe Entertainment, has completed its second major motion picture.
Andrew Morgan Smith comes from Lafayette and still lives here. Andrew is a musician. He writes and plays as much music as any working musician around here, but don’t look for Andrew performing at The Blue Moon. If you want to hear Andrew’s music you can listen to the score of any of the 61 big screen movies and TV movies he’s composed. Including Jeepers Creepers III and the cult classic shark movies Ghost Shark and Trailer Park Shark.
The film business, at the end day, is just another business. It comes with the same stresses that come with any business. Maybe more. But then again, Marcus and Andrew are making movies. And that is, well, just more glamorous than what most of us are doing.