Bill Luckett currently practices with Luckett Tyner Law Firm, P.A. which has offices in Clarksdale and Sumner, Mississippi. His major practice areas are civil litigation and entertainment law. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I lost in the runoff election in August in my race for governor, I returned to Clarksdale to resume my law practice, but as you may expect, I had no client appointments scheduled and some extra time on my hands until I got back into the usual flow.
This extra time gave me an opportunity to pursue an area of practice which, in the years past, I had not had a sufficient comfort level to get into. The area is entertainment law focusing on filmmaking.
As you might expect, due to my friendship with Morgan Freeman over the years, I have been exposed to a number of facets of the film industry. In fact, a number of potential clients and deals had come my way, but I had always referred the business away or simply declined it.
So, with time on my hands, I visited with some out-of-state lawyers whom I know are specialists in the business and studied several books on the subject. My study generally coincided with the fact that a number of filmmakers have come to realize how competitive (with the states of Louisiana and Georgia especially) our film incentives are here in Mississippi.
Our law is not conducive to attracting the big studio films with budgets of say, $30 million and up, but our incentives are excellent for attracting the smaller budget projects. Filmmaking in Louisiana has become a billion-dollar-a-year industry (reliable estimates available from 2010 have Louisiana at a billion, Georgia at $800 million, and Mississippi at $30 million) and Mississippi should do its best to attract more and more projects.
I can gauge from my conversations with potential producers that Mississippi is certainly becoming more and more attractive to them.