“We want it to have lakes, streams, swamps—big stages, little stages—and do this in a way that we will attract a lot of movie companies here with their productions,” Ingram said.
Kim Bergeron from the City of Slidell talks about how the sound stage would make a positive impact in the city of Slidell’s economy. “For starters, having a sound stage here will simply get more movies filmed here, since many companies want to be able to do inside shoots along with area location shoots,” she said.
Bergeron has been the Slidell contact when movie companies are looking for locations here. She has dealt with many productions that shot in Slidell and has seen first-hand what the effect is.
“When Baytown Disco shot here two years ago, they were using a Slidell lounge for a late-night shoot with a car exploding in the parking lot,” she said. “Suddenly the fire department was concerned with the explosion injuring people in the area, so they wanted a small building to protect everyone near the explosion. The producer sent people right out to buy the materials and they built a building.
“Meanwhile, people kept going to the McDonald’s nearby, late into the night, and kept spending money there,” she said. “That is just one small example of how this works. When these companies come here, even the smaller movies with $3 million to $4 million budgets, they spend a lot of money.”
“Even the smaller movies will bring 100 or more people, and that doesn’t begin to count the local people they hire from this area. There are many jobs in the movie industry so for every movie that shoots here, those people are working,” she said. “This is going to open up new trades for many people here.”
“A producer can suddenly decide the scene needs a painting on the wall of the lead actor, so they hire an artist to paint the picture—it goes on and on. Everything you can think of that might be needed in a movie could likely be purchased here,” she said.
The only hold up right now is the approval from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.