Local production company helps launch Southwest Louisiana Film Program at SOWELA

Source: MGN Online
Source: MGN Online

From A-list actors to big time movies, Hollywood has set its eyes on Louisiana.

A lot of $300 million films are being shot here," says director of the Southwest Louisiana Film Program Michael McGowan. "$200 million dollar films are being shot here but none of them are being shot here in Southwest Louisiana.

Due to film tax incentives offered by the state, film production is on the rise. Popular locations include New Orleans and even Edgard, Louisiana. Edgard is the home of Evergreen Plantation, a site used in the hit movie Django Unchained. Now, SOWELA Technical Community College wants to bring those films to Southwest Louisiana.

"We need a workforce," says McGowan. "By creating the Southwest Louisiana Film Program, we can teach people to do lighting, do production and do sound."

The 8-week program, which is set to start December 4th and will run Monday through Friday, will be taught by industry professionals. The program will include labs in which students can work with film equipment, write movie scripts and ultimately produce a film. McGowan also says the program will not only benefit students interested in working but it will even help local businesses.

"A lot of times, productions are spending upwards of several million dollars in a city in a matter of weeks," says McGowan. "So these small businesses can benefit financially."

Vice Chancellor for Economic and Workforce Development at SOWELA Dr. Joseph Fleishman says this is the first time a film program has been introduced. He hopes the program will prepare students for jobs and hire them for the first film in Southwest Louisiana. McGowan says that's what it's all about.

"That's the ultimate goal," says McGowan. "To get people jobs, get people working. If we don't have the infrastructure in place, we can't attract a business."

L.A. to LA Productions is based in Lake Charles which will help run the Southwest Louisiana Film Program. A special red carpet charity event will be taking place at the Lake Charles Civic Center on November 21st. To learn more, CLICK HERE

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