OUT TO LUNCH finds Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel combining her hard news journalist skills and food background: conducting business over lunch. Baton Rouge has long had a storied history of politics being conducted over meals, now the Capital Region has an equivalent culinary home for business: Mansur’s. Each week Stephanie holds court over lunch at Mansur’s and invites members of the Baton Rouge business community to join her. You can also hear the show on WRKF 89.3FM.
Just five years ago, Louisiana led the nation as the number one site to make movies, outpacing even California and New York. We attained this lofty position as a result of a generous program of state tax incentives , which cost the state treasury real dollars. But what did we gain in the process? By any measure, a lot of economic ripple activity and brand recognition, until the legislature put a stop to it all in 2016, with strict caps to the program that sent the movie producers packing for more generous locales like Georgia, which quickly overtook Louisiana as Hollywood South.
In the years since, the Legislature has tried to undo some of the damage it in an attempt to lure some of the business back. And it’s working. Sort of.
Patrick Mulhearn,is a veteran guest of this show and of the film business, After wisely getting out of the local news business, where he got his start, Patrick joined Louisiana Eocnomic Development’s Office of Entertainment Industries Development, and was snatched up not long after by Celtic Media Centre to head up is studio operations. This was in the heyday of the state’s modern movie production era, and Patrick was at the helm of Celtic during the filming of such tentpole productions as The Twilight Saga’s Breaking Dawn, True Blood, Fantastic Four and Pitch Perfect. Then, when the program dried up, Patrick went back to LED, where he is trying to rebuild what Baton Rouge once had.
Katie Pryor is executive director of the Baton Rouge Film Commission, which serves at once as an advocate that works to attract film crews to Baton Rouge and as a support organization that does whatever it can to provide assistance to film crews once they are here. Katie joined the commission in the spring of 2017, shortly after new regulations that had been passed in 2016 went into effect seeking to undo some of the harm legislation passed in 2015 had done to the industry. In the two years since, the commission has done a bang up job communicating what baton rouge has to offer and making it easier for those in the industry to network make things happen.
Recorded live over lunch at Mansurs On The Boulevard.