Major Sony production filmed in Vernon Parish boost local economy

Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 9:52 PM CST
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LEESVILLE, La. (KPLC) -Part of a multimillion dollar movie has wrapped up production in Southwest Louisiana.

The new movie starring Adam Driver and Ariana Greenblatt has been quietly shooting in Vernon Parish in the past few weeks. Scenes shot in the Kisatchie National Forest are about to hit the big screens with this science fiction movie titled “65.” Sony utilized the forest area for production while also bringing in revenue for the community.

“What we have recognized is the tremendous value and positive economic impact brought to our state by these companies that choose to come and film here,” said Sen. Mike Reese.

The Louisiana State Senator was at a news conference with Sony Pictures Friday afternoon talking about how much money this project brought to the state.

“It’s important to make sure the community understands the tie between the tax incentives that the state offers and the great economic impact the community benefits from the companies that are coming here to spend their money to film movies.”

Not only do movies attract tourist to new sites, but they actually boost the economy too with the production cost of dining at local restaurants, going to shops in the area and staying in hotel rooms.

The production itself tried to keep a low profile, but Jean Marie Murphy, the movie’s publicist, says the “65″ - written by the writers of “The Quiet Place” - wasn’t shy when it came to using local resources that brought money into the community.

“The amount of rooms we sold out in the area consistently is the equivalent of selling it out every night for 8 years,” said Murphy.

She also said the community support has been overwhelming and locals like Jim Caldwell say they’re excited to share their beautiful forest with the rest of the world.

“Kisatchie National Forest is the land of many many uses. Lots of hunting and fishing and camping, we sell trees, and do all kind of things and we make movies too,” said staff forest officer Caldwell.

Although filming in Vernon Parish is complete, more filming in other parts of Louisiana as well as Oregon are still underway. The movie won’t be officially release for about a year. Though, Murphy hints that it may be released as early as December.

Unrelated to the film, a Netflix series is also in the works and expected to utilize the versatile setting Kisantie has to offer. Caldwell anticipates the Netflix project to bring another economical lift to the parish.

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