BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — It’s a historical making day in Baton Rouge when it comes to film production. Three different production companies are all set up within a mile of each other on the same day.
The television series “Breakout Kings” has three different sets working near Laurel and Third Street. A block down the road, the made-for-television movie “Red Clover” is also filming a major street scene. Then, just one more block down the road at the Manship Theatre, “Pitch Perfect,” a featured film, is completing an interior scene. With this much activity in such a small area, some feared it was a recipe for disaster.
“It’s running smoothly,” an Assistant Director working on the set of “Red Clover,” said with hint of surprise. “The way it was described to us last week, I feared that this was going to be a disaster. It had all the potential to be a real mess. But it’s all running pretty well. They made it work.”
Keeping all three productions moving and working smoothly required coordination from several different agencies, including the Baton Rouge Film Commission, the Police Department, Mayor’s Office, and the Department of Traffic and Development.
“It’s an unusual circumstance for us,” Donna Reichman, Interim Executive Director for the Baton Rouge Film Commission, said. “We were supportive of all three productions and figuring out a way to make it work. It all seemed to work out in a pretty peaceful way.”
To see that much activity in such a small area may not be common for the Red Stick, but some say it’s a sight that is going to become increasingly common.
“While it may not have happened before, odds are it will happen several times in 2012,” Patrick Mulhern, head of Celtic Studios, explained. “There are so many productions set to work out of Baton Rouge, and several are going to be doing location shooting.”
For the first quarter of 2012, the Baton Rouge Film Commission says at least six, possibly seven, productions will be shooting in the city at the same time.
“Just today one of the shoots doubled for New York, and another doubled for Boston,” Reichman said. “We can double and stretch downtown Baton Rouge to make it look like different cities around the country, even Europe, and even different time periods. I think that, along with the fact that this is a very supportive town, is what’s attracting a lot of attention.”
“It will hard to tell where one production ends and another begins,” Mulhern added.
If what’s on the books already is any indication of the level of activity that can be anticipated next year, then Baton Rouge could be looking at breaking records for our area.