Locals can get help becoming a part of busy Hollywood South
Don Ames Reporting
The City of New Orleans has announced a series of film industry training sessions in partnership with Film New Orleans, the New Orleans Video Access Center and the St. Bernard Parish Office of Film & Television.
Starting in September, as part of NOVAC's Ready Set Film! workforce program, three low-cost film industry training programs will be provided to aspiring production assistants, assistant directors and production accountants to work on feature film and television productions. The Ready Set Film! fall series will train local residents through classes led by practicing professionals and will also offer job placement support to participants.
Chris Stelly, with the Office of Entertainment Industry Development, says Hollywood South needs more workers.
"There's always opportunity and there's always a need, as production companies...especially on the post-production side, continue to set up here. There's always a need for a skilled work force. Plus, it's an industry with a lot of upward mobility, so what you train for today may put you in a different position tomorrow."
And, he speaks highly of the classes that New Orleans and NOVAC offer to those who want to be part of the film industry.
"They're kind of a shining example of how to do things right," says Stelly. "And the people that they train are always placed within films throughout Louisiana."
Candidates should download an application and submit it with a resume to email@example.com by Saturday, September 7. There is a $75 acceptance fee.
Stelly says Hollywood South continues to be a hot spot for film and TV productions.
"'Black And White' just recently wrapped, and I think Kevin Costner wrote, directed and starred in it. The third season of American Horror Story is shooting in New Orleans now. We've got Warner Bros. about to start shooting in September with a feature film called 'Focus'...I believe that's going to star Will Smith. And, we've got the sequel to '21 Jump Street' titled '22 Jump Street'."
And, that's not all.
"There's Arnold Schwarzenegger in New Orleans right now prepping to shoot a film called 'Maggie', and Ryan Reynold's film 'Selfless' shoots in September," says Stelly.
There are also TV projects underway.
"One is The CW's 'Star-Crossed', and one is an ABC 'Pretty Little Liars' spinoff called 'Ravenswood'," Stelly says.
He says Hollywood South has proven it can turn out quality movies. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has already honored a number of films shot in south Louisiana. And, with award season upon us, three shot films shot in New Orleans and south Louisiana are garnering a lot of talk.
"You've got Lee Daniels' 'The Butler', which has been the number one picture for the last two weeks gaining a lot of Oscar traction...the Matthew McConaughey picture, 'Dallas Buyers Club' is also garnishing a lot of critical raves. And, finally '12 Years a Slave', produced by Brad Pitt's company and he does play a small part in that film."
More information about the film industry training sessions can also be obtained from Film New Orleans at (504) 658-0923.