Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina's aftereffects

Reported by Variety:

At least three shoots were underway in New Orleans when movie crews were ordered to evacuate. "The Guardian" starring Kevin Costner, and "Deja Vu" with Denzel Washington, were among those preparing to begin filming.

Disney studios chartered a plane to whisk 70 crew members from both films to safety. Spokeswoman Heidi Trotta said it was too early to know if production would be affected.

Generous tax breaks in states such as Louisiana have seen production expenditure soar in recent years. Last year 27 films were made in the state. It is feared the incentives are done for. Costs will soar, power and communication lines could be down for months and accommodation will be hard to find.

Michael Keaton’s "The Last Time" was reportedly already filming in New Orleans. "The Reaping," starring Hilary Swank, was shooting in Baton Rouge.

Frank von Zertner, executive producer on "Vampire Bats," which had been shooting in New Orleans, said they were lucky most of what was left could be filmed anywhere.

“Nobody’s eyeballed this, but I have a feeling my trucks are under water,” he told Variety.

The Los Angeles Times said other movies due to be shot in Louisiana later this year include "Bug," starring Ashley Judd, and "Big Momma's House 2," with Martin Lawrence. Some producers said their films were still on schedule while others said they were looking for alternative locations.

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