Though Battle: Los Angeles is set in L.A. and it looks L.A., it was actually filmed in Louisiana during the fall of 2009.
With the exception of a few scenes, including an alien beach attack in Santa Monica, 90% of the movie was shot in Baton Rouge and Shreveport. Producers even transformed a closed Coca-Cola factory in Baton Rouge into a soundstage to meet their needs.
Its not unusual for a movie to be set in one location and filmed in another, but with Los Angeles being one of the country’s leading cities for TV and Film production, in this case it does come as a surprise.
The decision to make the movie in Louisiana was purely a financial one. “Obviously, the tax incentives were huge,’’ said Jonathan Liebesman, who directed the $75-million film, which shot for 13 weeks in Louisiana and received a tax credit of nearly $15 million.
“The kind of movie we were making, we really needed to be able to shoot in locations that would have been impossible to shoot in L.A.,” added producer Neal Moritz. “I could never have shut down the 405 or the 10 [freeways] for weeks like we did with in Louisiana.”
Battle: L.A. is just one example of how Los Angeles has been losing productions to other states which offer progressive tax incentives. But with states like New Mexico and Michigan (which have been considered some of the best places to film in recent years) cutting their tax incentives, L.A. may see some of those projects returning.