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Upon Further Review: Do SIGN SB 254 (a clarification)

Brian Friedman (photo by Jason Kruppa)

I’d like to clarify for readers my commentary on two Louisiana legislative bills dealing with the film industry. Yesterday I posted an article titled “What SB 254 means, a local filmmaker’s perspective,” about the ways in which this bill before the Louisiana legislature could impact the film industry.

I spent a lot of time on this article, specifically detailing House Bill 686 authored by Rep. Chris Broadwater. A contact of mine had encouraged me to write about this bill in an effort to oppose another piece of legislation, SB 254 by Sen. J.P. Morrell. SB 254 is currently awaiting the governor’s signature.

I did not reach out to anyone in the film industry for comment on SB 254. Rather, I trusted that my contact was accurate that SB 254 was bad for the local film industry. And I gave permission to this contact to send out the piece – again, strictly under the impression that what I was doing was helping.

The truth is this: Film industry representatives from LFEA, IATSE Local 478, LED and SAG/AFTRA all supported SB 254. Had I contacted one of them for his or her perspective on the story, I would have included it in my article (and should have). The fact is, SB 254 is likely to be signed by the governor within the next week. The bill encourages productions across the state, and provides more incentives for Louisiana-based productions and screenplays.

Film industry reps agreed that in the state’s current economic climate, legislative compromises needed to be made in order for the film program to continue and thrive here. They admit that SB 254 isn’t a perfect bill, but agree that it is one that would create stability and predictability going forward — far more, in their view, than HB 686, the bill that I discussed in my article.

Thanks for allowing me to clarify things.

Brian Friedman



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