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BIZ New Orleans New & Notables

BIZ New Orleans New & Notables

Scott Niemeyer Founder and CEO, Deep South Studios   Confidence in Louisiana’s film industry is coming back, and Scott Niemeyer, founder and CEO of Algiers’ Deep South Studios, is enthusiastic about praising the state’s efforts to proclaim to all that Hollywood South is here to stay. “Thanks to the state’s new entertainment incentive program which Gov. Edwards signed into law last year, we have an even stronger ecosystem that supports and recognizes the importance of the entertainment industry to this state,” says Niemeyer. In 2012, Niemeyer — a producer of films including the hit, “Pitch Perfect,” — began working on creating the largest independent film and television full-service facility ever constructed in the Southeast. Deep South Studios has currently completed three of the 11 buildings planned for Phase 1 of the project, totaling 35,000 square feet. Current plans include approximately 262,000 square feet of studio space. The company has had a string of successes recently, including being chosen late last year as the state’s first Qualified Entertainment Company (QEC). Under a new state program, entertainment employers qualified by Louisiana Economic Development can receive tax credits on annual wages paid on full-time jobs created for Louisiana residents. QECs may qualify for up to $1 million in payroll credits per year. Then in April, Deep South welcomed its first tenant, Production Resource Group, a global entertainment and live event production services company. “I’m eager to see Louisiana back at its maximum potential in this industry,” says Niemeyer, “and we’re well on our way to getting...
Deep South Studios’ CEO: ‘We’re Open For Business’

Deep South Studios’ CEO: ‘We’re Open For Business’

Deep South Studios’ CEO: ‘We’re Open For Business’ BY LESLIE T. SNADOWSKY Scott Niemeyer, the founder and CEO of Deep South Studios, said his production facility, the largest purpose-built film, television and digital media studio in the Southeast, is ready for its close up. With a proverbial slap of a clapboard and a call for “speed” and “action,” Niemeyer announced that Production Resource Group (PRG), a global entertainment and live event production services company, will be the first long-term anchor tenant at his massive west bank campus. “We’re open for business,” said Niemeyer. “This strategic alliance with PRG allows us to offer entertainment clients and companies one-stop shopping when it comes to production services. This cornerstone tenant brings a host of ancillary services, resources and equipment that every production would need.” “This new addition also speaks to the State’s renewed efforts to attract business,” he said. “Louisiana has doubled down on bringing in more companies to join the entertainment ecosystem.” Last year, crucial changes were made in the 2017 Legislative Session to resurrect Louisiana’s entertainment industry’s tax credit program, Niemeyer said. Before the edits to the motion picture production, digital interactive media and software development, musical and theatrical production and sound recording tax credits and incentives, many local businesses in the industry were ready to fade out. But last December, Louisiana Economic Development (LED) designated Deep South Studios as Louisiana’s first Qualified Entertainment Company (QEC) – fade in a new state program to cultivate sustainable jobs and permanent investment for Louisiana’s motion picture, digital, music and theatrical industries. LED defines QECs as programs that provide tax credits on annual W2...
DEEP SOUTH STUDIOS TO BECOME LOUISIANA’S FIRST QEC PROJECT

DEEP SOUTH STUDIOS TO BECOME LOUISIANA’S FIRST QEC PROJECT

Media Contact: Gary Perilloux 225.342.3437 Gary.Perilloux@la.gov   DEEP SOUTH STUDIOS TO BECOME LOUISIANA’S FIRST QEC PROJECT New Qualified Entertainment Company program targets sustainable entertainment jobs for content creators BATON ROUGE, La. — Deep South Studios, a design-build entertainment production complex in New Orleans, will become Louisiana’s first Qualified Entertainment Company under the state’s innovative new program that cultivates sustainable jobs for Louisiana’s motion picture, digital, music and theatrical industries. Louisiana pioneered modern-era film production tax incentives beginning in 2002 and remains one of the leading destinations for motion picture production in the world. The industry continues to generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually in project-based spending across the state, from feature films to episodic TV productions. To grow the number of permanent Louisiana jobs, the state created Qualified Entertainment Company incentives in 2017 that reward investment in permanent quality jobs held by Louisiana residents. For jobs paying $45,000 or more annually, the QEC employer is eligible for a 15 percent payroll tax credit. That credit increases to 20 percent for new jobs paying more than $66,000 annually. A similar incentive is available for music-related companies. “In 2016, I tasked our Louisiana Economic Development agency with finding solutions to make our entertainment programs more sustainable, with more statewide impact,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “The QEC model is an effective new tool for helping companies grow permanent entertainment employment in Louisiana. We’re pleased that Deep South Studios is putting down permanent roots here. They are at the vanguard of companies that will hire the brightest creative minds in the business to produce a greater economic impact for the entertainment...