When you think Louisiana, you think New Orleans, you think LSU in Baton Rouge – things that have and continue to be beacons for Louisiana to the nation. So why Shreveport-Bossier – a small twin city community of less than 300,000 people? The answer is simple: Location, location, location.
Why Film in Northwest Louisiana?
As anyone from the area will tell you, Shreveport-Bossier and northwest Louisiana are incredibly beautiful places to shoot films. This is particularly true in the spring, when the shooting window for the Film Prize is open. Northwest Louisiana has been a hotbed for film production since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 with over 100 motion pictures, TV shows, and documentaries produced here in the last 5 years. Movies from New York to L.A. with huge shooting schedules and complicated logistics like The Guardian, Battle Los Angeles, The Mist, Leaves of Grass, Drive Angry, Salem (WGN America), Straw Dogs, and Olympus Has Fallen to name a few. They shot here on location and no one watching all over the world would know any differently. There are quarries, dunes, forests, rolling hills, acres and acres of crops, rural communities, highways, shanty towns, a wave tank, and a downtown that has doubled for the biggest cities in the country (New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, etc)… and it’s all at your fingertips.
So what to 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, MGM, Weinstein, Dimension, Touchstone, Millennium, Screen Gems, and others know that you don’t? For starters, permits in Shreveport-Bossier City are free, public locations are free, city property filming is free, and free water access to boot. People here bend over backwards to help you out, and, of course, there’s the world-famous southern hospitality (which is totally real, by the way). There are four sound stages in Shreveport, full grip/electric rental facilities, there are local camera rentals, experienced crew, and a wide base of talent.
If you’re thinking to yourself… “What I want to do is pretty intense and would require all sorts of closures or traffic control” and I don’t have quite the budget of Battle: Los Angeles… well that’s not a problem either. One filmmaker burned a car for a shoot in the middle of downtown with street closure, permits, safety gear, experienced VFX supervisor and all for less than $500 and a little elbow grease. Where else can you do that? Not many places we’d wager.
Still not convinced? We’re not sure what more we can say. If “free” and “bend over backwards” and “studio movie location” and “southern hospitality” don’t do the job, we’re not sure what will.
Where Are You?
Shreveport and Bossier City – plus the surrounding eligible filming regions – are located in the Northwest corner of Louisiana, at the intersection of Texas and Arkansas.