Hollywood Casts Cheaper Cities as LA California loses its grip on the movie business By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Feb 5, 2010 9:30 AM CST 8 comments Comments The HOLLYWOOD sign on the hillside overlooking Hollywood, Ca., is shown in this 1981 file photo. (AP Photo, FILE) (Newser) – LA is starting to feel like a has-been actor; the city can’t even get gigs playing itself. Next year’s Battle: Los Angeles, for example, was shot in Louisiana, while Starz’s TV version of Crash set up shop in New Mexico. New York is accustomed to being bypassed for the likes of Toronto and Vancouver, but it's a new indignity for the City of Angels, brought about, the New York Times explains, by the generous incentives other states have offered filmmakers to hit the road. “You’re never going to know we didn’t shoot the movie in Los Angeles,” promises a Battle: Los Angeles producer. Palm trees were brought in and spray-painted a brighter green to help make Shreveport and Baton Rouge look like plausible stand-ins for LA. It was worth it for producers, because not only will the state chip in 30% of the film’s production budget, it agreed to close Interstate 405 so the filmmaker could shoot on it.