Monday, February 1, 2010

Movie and TV industry is getting more local

By Alexandyr Kent • • February 1, 2010


Picture of Director Jeffrey Goodman watches a monitor during the filming of "The Last Lullaby" in Shreveport. (Greg Pearson/The Times)

Hollywood has been coming to Louisiana for years. Now Louisiana is poised to bring its products to Hollywood.
Of the 11 movie and TV productions that have been shot in northwest Louisiana this year, four have deep local roots.
The emergence of an indigenous film industry is a notable development for an industry that, until now, has been driven largely by Hollywood-based decision-makers.
"The Last Lullaby" was shot in January and February by director Jeffrey Goodman, a Shreveport native who worked in Hollywood but returned home to raise money for and make the low-budget independent feature.
"Secrets from the Heart," a TV pilot and concert series about songwriters, was shot here in April. The series was produced and directed by Nashville music insider Will Mitchell, who was born in Sabine Parish and graduated from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
"I grew up coming to The Louisiana Hayride as a local boy. That had a major influence on me."
Though Mitchell is based in Franklin, Tenn., he plans to come back to Shreveport again to shoot more episodes in the Scottish Rite Cathedral.
"As long as that is the best performance hall I can put my finger on, that's where we will be shooting a lot of these shows," Mitchell said. Louisiana's existing tax incentives for the entertainment industry also remain important to decisions about location, he said.
"For Sale by Owner" was shot near Natchitoches and financed by a local start-up company, Port Pictures.
A recently wrapped production, "The Pardon," was made by RiverDream Productions. To make "At Last" in New Orleans in 2005, the company was created by director Tom Anton and local attorney and producer Jim Davis.
Both Port Pictures and RiverDream Productions plan on making more movies here.
"We're going to build our production company here," Davis said. "We're going to improve our pre- and post-production infrastructure. Our long-range plan is to continue to build infrastructure here."
Some former Shreveporters with industry experience are even moving back home.
Seasoned producer and director Jude Gerard Prest plans to set up the main production office of Caddo Street Productions in the Shreveport-Bossier City area soon.
Prest was born in Shreveport but moved away to work in the entertainment industry. For the past 16 years, he has been producing film and TV projects.
"Our plan is to basically relocate the production company out to Shreveport-Bossier and to produce, direct and oversee an ongoing slate of film and TV projects," Prest said. "The concept for us was to keep as much of the production and development as local as possible to the Shreveport-Bossier area."

No comments: