Thursday, June 05, 2008

Diego knows firsthand how the industry found a home in The Shreve

If you visit movie sets in Shreveport, you quickly discover that Diego Martinez is central to the success story of the local film industry. He probably owes his fast rise to hard work, reliability and chance.

Before Hurricane Katrina, Diego was living in Shreveport and helping with his father's business. In the summer of 2005, he was getting ready to move down south to find work in the movie industry.

"I was just about to move to New Orleans," Diego said. "The plans were already made. It was about two weeks before I would move."

Then Katrina hit and the industry pushed north. What he was trying to crack has just landed at his front door.

Diego stayed in Shreveport and began getting movie jobs and steadily moving up the ladder. In 2006, he worked as an assistant to the director on "Ruffian" and a production secretary on "The Year Without a Santa Claus."

Next came three movies as art department coordinator.

"It just snowballed," Diego said last week while on the set of "Streets of Blood." "Now I'm production supervisor."

"Streets of Blood" is his fourth consecutive Nu Image/Millennium Films project with that title.

"What I've done in less than three years would have taken me half of my life in L.A.," he said. "I bought a house here and this has just worked out perfectly. I hope that we keep this going."

While the industry has returned to New Orleans, it's also built itself a home in The Shreve largely because crew guys like Diego stuck around.

PHOTO: Diego Martinez (left) on the set of "Streets of Blood." (Douglas Collier/The Times)

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