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    New Orleans Still Hopes to Become the Next Movie Capitol

    Before Katrina, New Orleans was stated to be the next Hollywood. Post Katrina New Orleans’ fate as the countries next big movie industry is still underway. There are numerous productions being filmed in the area and plenty more to come. Dejà vu (Denzel Washington- Training Day, Paula Patton- Idlewild), PDR (Bernie Mac- Mr. 3000, Terrence Howard- Hustle and Flow), and Documentary When the Levees Broke (Spike Lee- Do the Right Thing) are presently being filmed in the area.


    The filming industry’s move back to New Orleans assists in the city’s restoration process. The movie’s production crew and actors as well as any other workers with the movie are being exposed to the progress of the city. Not only that, the film industry’s relocation brings positive attention and a source of income back to the city. According to Graduating senior and chemistry major Tishina Okegve ” A lot of money is coming in because people are coming in to shoot for a lower budget and more money is coming into the city’s economy”.


    Casting agents are looking for others in the area to be cast as extras. Most positions are paying and food is served on the set. Several Dillard Students have had the opportunity of being extras on the sets of these movies. Graduating Seniors Tishina Okegve and Jenna Williams experienced life on the set by participating in the areas films. Okegve was an extra in PDR and Williams, Speech Communication/ Theatre major, was apart of ABC Disney’s Campus Confidential. Williams is currently a production assistant for Spike Lee’s Documentary When the Levees Broke.


    The experiences on the set are unforgettable. Okgeve says she “got to meet some famous people, (Evan Ross from the movie ATL), it was a really good experience”.  According to Williams on the documentary “the experience is wonderful because I want to go into the film industry. [The opportunity] gives me help of understanding what goes on in front of and behind the camera. It is also good to build up contacts for the future”.


    There are several ways to experience the opportunity of participating in a film. Sometimes flyers are posted up with contact names, numbers and e-mails. They may also announce auditions in some local churches. The local newspaper or Craig list is also a way of learning of casting calls for extras.


    The movie industry’s positive impact on the city can be seen in the big screen. Williams states “People can relate to the movies and see New Orleans and say that is the city I live in”.




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    New Orleans Still Hopes to Become the Next Movie Capitol