Money talks, right? That's the case in the movie business at least.
Louisiana has become the film production capital of the world, and it's all because of the money. That's what Jesse Berger, producer of the upcoming film "Abattoir," tells CBS News.
"It's very difficult to justify shooting in California when you have these types of incentives," Berger said.
Those incentives were detailed in one part of The Advocate's eight-part "Giving Away Louisiana" series on existing tax breaks and how they're affecting the state's budget.
Last year, 107 film and TV projects qualified for help from Louisiana taxpayers, at an upfront cost to the state budget of about $250 million. Stephen Moret, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s secretary of Economic Development, says he thinks that figure could double within a few years.
The program, the richest of its kind in the country, covers between 30 and 35 percent of in-state production costs, including eight-figure actor salaries, as long as a film’s local costs top $300,000. The subsidy is so large that it completely changes the economics of filmmaking. And its size has probably contributed to the program’s history of corruption as well, tempting some dishonest film producers into padding their expenses so they can recoup more money.