published Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Alexandria mayor: Make movie or refund $50,000

ALEXANDRIA, La. — An Alabama movie maker says filming will begin in January on “The Story of Bonnie and Clyde.”

The Town Talk called Tanya Holly of Cypress Moon Production Inc. after Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy said he wanted the company either to make the movie or return $50,000 the city put up for the project in 2009.

Cypress Moon also got $25,000 from the Alexandria Pineville Convention and Visitors Bureau and $25,000 from the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority for the movie.

Holly said she’s not the only independent filmmaker who has struggled over the last few years. In January, she said, Lindsay Pulsipher will be free to play Bonnie Parker. “We’re shooting as soon as she’s able to shoot,” Holly said.

Holly’s state tax credits will expire in February if she doesn’t begin filming before then, Roy said. He said he’s not optimistic that will happen but would love to be proved wrong.

Louisiana’s Motion Picture Tax Credit program offers a tax credit equal to 30 percent of any film project that costs more than $300,000 to make. The state grants an additional 5 percent payroll tax credit when labor from Louisiana is used.

Pulsipher wasn’t originally cast as Bonnie Parker. The company said at first that Hillary Duff would play that part, with Kevin Zegers playing Clyde, and veteran actresses Cloris Leachman and Tess Harper signed for other parts. None of those is now on the cast list. Sean Faris is currently cast as Clyde Barrow.

Holly said she didn’t ask for money from Alexandria, but was offered public financing.

“I was the guinea pig,” she said. “... This was something new they tried with me, and I signed on the dotted line. ... My God, if I could go back I would never have signed that document.”

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