Five years ago, KYW’s Brad Segall was in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit and provided live reports as most of the city was inundated. He returned there to see the progress as New Orleans rebuilds.
Segall reports that the city is looking for creative ways to generate income, since tourism is still down.
One way they’ve found is with TV and film production.
New Orleans is now being called “Hollywood South.” Thanks to tax incentives, the city plays host to an average of twenty major productions a year since Katrina, pumping roughly $100 million a year into the local economy.
Jennifer Day (right), former director of the New Orleans Film Office, says the city is a filmmaker’s dream:
“We have three hundred years’ worth of diverse architecture to work with, so we can cheat everything from Europe to Anywhere USA to metropolitan areas such as Chicago and New York.”
And Day says those feature films and television programs have been keeping mom-and-pop businesses afloat while the city continues to recover:
“Anything from porta-potties to paint at the hardware store, security service. They go to the grocery store and the production office alone spends anywhere from five hundred to a thousand dollars a week on groceries.”
The most recent productions include the HBO series “Treme,” the movie The Green Lantern, and the Stallone box office smash The Expendables.