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Movies & TV in New Orleans and southeast Louisiana

Southeast Louisiana – and specifically New Orleans – has been dubbed “Hollywood South” because of all the movies and television shows filmed & recorded here.

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Here’s something to watch for: the Navy military crime drama NCIS with Mark Harmon is getting some southern flair.

The popular CBS show is looking at a potential spinoff set in New Orleans.

The hit drama opens its 11th season tonight and this season will feature a two-episode spinoff set in New Orleans that could become a new series.

The episodes will be shot in February and air in the spring.

The show’s producers say New Orleans is a magnet for military personnel on leave and with New Orleans style fun comes trouble.

We asked about it on our WGNO Facebook page, and a lot of folks say a New Orleans spinoff would be a great idea:

The 4th and final season of “Treme” rolls out this December and HBO just released the trailer:

The final season takes place about 3 years after Katrina and the trailer suggests that we’ll see some post-Katrina reunions in the last season.

This week, the mayor of Los Angeles stated he would ramp up efforts in his city to keep movie productions that are opting to shoot in other states or even Canada.

Mayor Eric Garcetti told Variety that he wants to create the position of a film czar as well as beef up tax credits.

The move comes as Louisiana’s film industry is growing.  Chris Stelly is the head of the state commission Louisiana Entertainment.  He says Garcetti’s plans could very well bring  more projects to Los Angeles.

But Stelly also says Louisiana never intended to compete with California.  Instead, he says, the state’s goal all along was to try to attract projects that were leaving the United States in favor of Canada.

Stelly also says that Louisiana’s film infrastructure is getting stronger every year.  He says a growing number of companies and talented people in the industry now live in Louisiana, meaning fewer — if any — people must be brought into the state on a temporary basis to work on projects.

Other states like Michigan and New Mexico also have solid film incentive programs but have placed caps or ceilings on them.  There has been talk in Louisiana of scaling back incentives, but Stelly says every year the Louisiana legislature keeps the current incentives in place, continuing the industry’s ability to grow in the state.

Even though Lee Daniels’ move “The Butler” made $25 million over the weekend, some people are boycotting the movie.

Here’s a picture of veterans in Slidell protesting the movie because of Jane Fonda’s role in the movie.

Fonda plays Nancy Reagan in the historical drama, but to these veterans, she’s always be known as the Vietnam War protestor Hanoi Jane.

One of the most anticipated movies opens nationwide on Friday, but it starts playing in New Orleans theaters on Thursday!  That’s because “The Butler” was filmed here.

“The Butler” is about a White House butler who is a witness to civil rights history from the president’s perspective … and from his own perspective.

The action packed “2 Guns” was number one at the box office over the weekend, raking in more than $27 million.

The blockbuster movie was filmed in New Orleans. It stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg who play a pair of undercover agents whose bank robbery leads to all kinds of violence.

New Orleans is known for a lot things: music, food, drinks … you name it! But what makes this city so unique is all of our unusual characters.

WGNO photojournalist Alyson Titekmeyer introduces us to the actors behind the sitcom “Sunken City.” They’ve already raised $10,000 on Kickstarter to fund a first season, which they plan to release in October.

The reality show for former governor Edwin Edwards and his wife, Trina, will not make a June premier.

Originally the show was scheduled to make its debut on the A&E network earlier this year in the time slot following Duck Dynasty.

But network execs opted to delay The Governor’s Wife until perhaps this month.

Now a source close to the program says A&E is excited about the program and will definitely air it, but not this month, and no new premier date has been selected.

Film IndustryBy now you’ve probably seen one of several film crews in and around the New Orleans area.

But you may be surprised to hear casting directors are looking for someone like you.

Our Darian Trotter tells us how you can become a part of Hollywood South.

“I love you dad, but I can’t just ask you about sex,” actor Phillip Youman is heard practicing his lines. “I just can’t.”

This is how careers in the film and television industry are launched.

Given the large number of productions filmed in New Orleans, there are plenty of opportunities for beginner and experienced actors.

But experts say you can’t just show up for an audition.

“People think that they can walk right into this business and take the world by storm,” Producer-Director Tommye Myrick explained. “It doesn’t happen that way.”

“You may fit the look, but they want to know that you know what you’re doing when you get on set,” Actress and acting coach Jaqueline Fleming added. “That’s where training comes in.”

“You have to come to class, you have to apply yourself so that when you go into your movie auditions, the correct way to handle yourself,” actor and acting coach Trazi Lashawn said.

Meet some famed fast-trackers in New Orleans who are putting people to work.

Trazi Lashawn is an actor who’s opened a production company in The Esplanade Mall.

Jaqueline Fleming is an actress, and acting coach.

Her studio is located in Old Metairie.

Ms. Tommye Myrick is a director, producer, and acting coach.

Youman continued rehearsing, “How am I supposed to have that conversation with my dad, the reverend?”

Myrick’s group and one-on-one classes are offered at the JuJu Bag Cafe in Gentilly.

“Phillip what you’re not doing is thinking and it’s the thought process that makes it believable,” Myrick pointed out.

Our experts agree, it takes dedication and sometimes tough direction.

“It’s very humbling, and you have to be vulnerable to be an actor and open yourself up,” Fleming said.

“That’s why classes, workshops, are so critically important,” Myrick added.

Last year, the film industry pumped more than 531-million dollars into the local economy.

Experts say you don’t have to be a big name actor to claim your piece of the pie.

But before the head-shots, auditions, and call-backs you have to put in work.

“Anybody who thinks that they can act or like to act like they can act,” Leshawn said. “We want to make sure that they can.”

“They’re looking for just ordinary people and if you are an extraordinary talent who’s ordinary in your demeanor and your look, you have a very good chance of being cast,” Myrick said.

If you think you have what it takes to be on-camera in “Hollywood South” you can get started as early as Wednesday.

A FREE acting workshop is being offered Wednesday night between 6:30 and 9pm at the JuJu Bag Cafe, located at 5363 Franklin Avenue in Gentilly.

Contact information for the three acting coaches featured in this report is listed below:

Jaqueline Fleming, Jaq’s Acting Studio,  jaqsactingstudio@yahoo.com

Trazi Lashawn, Best Motion pictures, (504) 800-4573 or becauseiact@gmail.com

Tommye Myrick, The Juju Bag Cafe, thejujubag@gmail.com

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