Thursday, April 24, 2008
Millennium has broken ground on new studio, and these dudes aren't my bodyguards
Ahoy, readers! I've survived a two-week plunge into the belly of our new news website and am back at the blogging keyboard. Sorry for my absense, but I've been doing tech support for users almost 24/7 (OK, 14/7). More on that below.
If you didn't hear (I know you did), Nu Image/Millennium Films broke ground on its $10 million studio for the Ledbetter Heights neighborhood. It's a major development for the local industry on many levels.
One, Millennium's an L.A.-based company who's decided to "bank on Louisiana," according to executive producer Michael Flannigan. They've made six films here since 2006 and are currently prepping number seven ("Streets of Blood" aka "Microwave Park"). Deciding to set up a permanent production facility here is a signal to the rest of the country that Louisiana's production climate is stable and cost effective, even as other states continue to step up their tax incentives.
Two, the studio, once built, will employ between 100 and 500 at any given time. Adding another stable employer to the local film economy will continue to build the crew base. More crew, more movies.
Three, it's another symbol that the entire state of Louisiana is open for production. The Shreve's booming. New Orleans is booming. Pace is picking up in Lafayette. Producers are continuing to discover that the entire state can work for what they need.
My duties at The Times have grown to include social media, and I have all of you to thank for that. You've made my blog fun to write and a great place to interact. Based on LaMovBlog's success, I've been recruited to champion user-content on the shreveporttimes.com.
If you've visited our new site lately, you'll see a wholesale redesign to the pages (I can't take credit for that).
Long story short, as the new "Social Media Champion," I'm in charge of user-generated content. If you become a member of our site, you can blog. You can post photos. You can network with friends. You can set up communities. And you can comment on almost anything. If you're in to the social networking thing, I encourage you to sign up and play.
We're looking to feature voices on the new site who have local expertise, a passion for debate and an interest in leading community conversation. If you'd like to chat about it, just give me a ring at 318.459.3256.
We're planning on a wholesale redesign of this blog, too, and it will incorporate some exciting new changes. Stay tuned, and let me know what you think the changes.
TOP PHOTO: Michael Flannigan from Nu Image/Millennium Films and Dink Adams from Cinelease attend the groundbreaking. Nice suits, fellas. Leave the cannoli. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)
BOTTOM PHOTO: Studio and city officials lift those golden shovels through the soil of Ledbetter Heights. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)