Which Southern State is Best For Filmmaking, Y’all?

October 30, 2014

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Looking to shoot your next film in the heated swamps, vast croplands or gulf shores of the American South? Maybe you see the foundations of a futuristic sci-fi setting in the bustling streets of New Orleans, or a Great Depression farce amongst the live oak and dogwood flowers.

If you are looking to plant your production in the deep South, chances are you will turn your cameras to either Mississippi or Louisiana. Both states have produced Academy Award-winning films, all with their own unique representation of this lush and deeply cultured part of the United States.

Louisiana vs. Mississippi: Which is the best Southern State to shoot a movie?


Why Louisiana?

The Bayou State can safely be identified as one of the most unique places in the United States, and has provided the setting for countless productions over the last decade. Part of the reasons for this is Louisiana’s incentive program, initiated in 2002, providing a wide variety of locations, soundstages and post-production houses. The incentives potentially include a 30% tax credit with no annual cap.


More and more films take their crews to Louisiana, notably David Fincher’s 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Steve McQueen’s Best Picture-winning 12 Years a Slave. The state served as a highly integral component of HBO’s hit serial drama True Detective, which showcased much of the rich and diverse landscape available in the state.


Why Mississippi?

Just a tad north of the Bayou is the state we all did our best to spell back in the day, great ol’ Mississippi. The state offers many opportunities for location shooting, and is encouraging that productions take into consideration its preserved 19th and early 20th century railroad towns and river communities, featuring many in-tact antebellum homes. Like Louisiana, Mississippi offers tax incentives to shoot in the state. A 25% investment rebate is offered to productions from out of state, with a $50,000 minimum. They do offer a reduced 1.5% rate for equipment used in production.


While being the setting of many stories, Mississippi has had success serving as the true location for notable films like the Coen brothers’ acclaimed O’ Brother Where Art Thou and both Tate Taylor’s films The Help and Get On Up.


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