By JESSICA PEREGOY
The glitz and glamour of Hollywood
is being sprinkled over Shreveport
and Bossier City.
Since Hurricane Katrina, many film projects slated for
New Orleans have been relocated to the Shreveport-Bossier City area.
This change is bringing a boost to the economy and
excitement to the residents of Shreveport-Bossier City, Pam Gloriso,
city project coordinator, said.
“I really don’t feel like too many residents feel
inconvenienced by the projects,” she said. “When these projects make it to the
screen, people will be so excited to see places from their hometown.”
Gloriso said Shreveport-Bossier
City has been working for 10 years to attract the industry to the area.
“The film industry can really grow here,” she said. “It’s
unfortunate that they came here because of the hurricanes, but we’ve welcomed
them with open arms, and that has meant a lot to them.”
Not only are people excited about stars in their
hometown, but also the investments the film companies are making are creating a
lot of opportunity for local businesses, David Rockett,
Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation, said.
“Star-power is a short-term excitement,” he said. “These
projects will bring about $50 to $100 million to the area from hiring local
people, using our facilities and living expenses.”
Both Rockett and Gloriso agree the film industry is putting permanent roots
in Shreveport-Bossier City.
“We don’t really know what their long-term goals are,” Rockett said. “But we’ve handled everything in a really
professional and helpful manner.”
From street closures to using the homes of local
residents, Shreveport-Bossier City residents have helped filmmakers do the job
they came to do, Rockett said.
Actors such as Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher are filming “The Guardian,” while Patrick Swayze is filming “Road House 2: Last Call” at the Rockin’ Rodeo in Bossier City.
“I’ve met with each production, and they have really
liked the area and the friendliness of the people,” Gloriso
“It’s making their job much easier and many of them have
decided to set up offices here when they are able to go back to the studios in
One Shreveport native and Tech student, Rachel Connell, a
senior communications design major, said the industry’s move is something new
and exciting for the area.
“It’s a step up for Shreveport and exciting that the area
was able to help out all of the studios from New Orleans,” she said. “It really
is a blessing that Shreveport was close enough so that they didn’t have to go
too far from New Orleans to keep working.”
As for the hot Hollywood stars invading Shreveport,
Connell said it is something she never would have considered before.
“When you think about Shreveport, you think about
casinos,” she said.
“But, Harrison Ford and Sandra Bullock
in Shreveport? I mean, come on; who would have thought?”