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By JESSICA PEREGOY jep024@latech

By JESSICA PEREGOY

jep024@latech.edu

 

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 said.

“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 New Orleans.”

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?”


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