Nathan Stubbs

North Louisiana's Movie Mecca

by Nathan Stubbs

The Noble Savage Tavern, an old honky tonk in downtown Shreveport, isn’t typically known for its celebrity clientele. But last week, it was the choice hangout of Oliver Stone, Sharon Stone, Val Klimer and 50 Cent, all of whom were in town working on new movies. An article in today’s New York Times looks at how this post-industrial North Louisiana town of 200,000 is the latest “Hollywood South,” currently hosting approximately 40 film and TV productions. The story lists some obvious reasons for Shreveport’s attraction: Louisiana’s lucrative tax incentives for film production, low hospitality industry prices and a wealth of old abandoned buildings perfect for filming. Filmmakers have found other charms. Producer Lampton Enochs notes, “when you shoot in somebody’s home, some of them even bake cookies for the crew."  And eccentric director Oliver Stone, who is in town shooting “W”, his new biopic of President Bush, is fascinated by the local talent.  “You get something working with extras from here,” Stone tells the Times.  “Look, these people are gamblers and roughnecks. They know all about boom and bust. This is a second-chance town. I just read that there may be a huge reserve of gas right under the city that was not discovered until very recently.”