The Lafayette Entertainment Initiative will have a new division head come next month.
The Lafayette Entertainment Initiative will have a new division head come next month. Lafayette Consolidated Government is proposing some changes to the budget for LEI, which manages film and digital media recruitment and promotion for the mayor's office. Specifically, LCG is moving to replace the division head, Marcus Brown, who has been working under a consulting contract of approximately $100,000, with a full-time employee. Lafayette City Parish President Joey Durel says that LEI is in need of a full time division head and that Brown has too many other responsibilities to take on the role. Brown is an actor who also runs his own local production company, Believe Entertainment. Brown has managed LEI since Durel launched the initiative in 2007 and has played a key role in ramping up the local film industry and is widely credited with helping reel in companies such as Bullet Films and Pixel Magic to Lafayette, along with production of the soon to be released Disney production Secretariat. Durel hopes to keep Brown on as a consultant in a more clearly defined, part-time role. "We felt at this stage we needed to have a full time employee," Durel says. "[Brown] was able to float around quite a bit."
"It was just one of those things that was kind of a mutual decision between Marcus and us," Durel adds. "He's got much bigger fish to fry but our expectation is to surely keep him plugged in, he's done such a good job for us. It's just going to be more specific things that he will do throughout the year for us." Brown could not be reached this morning for comment.
Durel expects Brown's part-time assistant at LEI, John Peterson, to take the helm of the division starting next month. Durel says Peterson, or whoever officially fills the position, will have an annual salary of around $40,000. In addition, LCG is trying to negotiate a new consulting contract with Brown for roughly the same $40,000 amount. Durel says the changes will amount to around a $40,000 to $60,000 reduction in LEI's overall budget. That amount equates to the portion that was being funded by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, which will now keep those funds in house and apply them to its own film and digital media business recruitment efforts.