[i Bossier City seeing economic benefits from upcoming film[/i
The upcoming Millennium Films’ production “White House Taken” is already pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy, area businesses and film officials say.
The action thriller starring Gerard Butler is set to be filmed at multiple Shreveport and Bossier City locations this summer, one of which will feature a partial faÃ§ade of the White House.
Construction of the replica structure â€” an estimated 55 feet tall and 20 feet wide â€” started last month on Bossier City property adjacent to the CenturyLink Center, putting local carpenters, painters and contractors to work, Bossier City film liaison Pam Glorioso said.
“We’re excited that they’re doing local hires of vendors and contractors,” Glorioso said. “It’s putting people locally to work because of the film industry. And that is what it’s all about.”
A large chunk of the film’s budget will go into the local economy in the form of labor and materials, Millennium Studios President Diego Martinez said. Martinez would not disclose the film’s budget, but industry reports estimate it at $50 million.
“Our policy is always to hire and buy local first,” Martinez said, adding this is one of Millennium’s largest Louisiana productions.
Martinez said he heard construction would require about 60 jobs but estimates the number could be higher than that.
In addition to the White House faÃ§ade, the Bossier City location will include a replica of the National Mall, an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C. The National Mall replica will be across from the White House replica along Walker Place. Martinez said there could be additional sets at the Bossier City location, but that is still being determined.
Construction on the structures could run beyond the start of filming in July, he said.
“This is definitely a big budget film compared to some of the other things they’ve done,” said JoJo Lacy, the general contractor on the Bossier City set.
Lacy, who owns Custom Construction and Remodeling and Advanced Elevator Service, said he is organizing a plethora of site construction from dirt to electrical work.
“They’re spending their money with locally owned small companies, and that is a big deal,” Lacy said. “The money we make on this job actually stays in this area.” James Landers with Drainbusters Landers Plumbing said the construction of the film sets is great for the community.
“A lot of friends of ours are working as carpenters on the set, and they’re happy to be there because they had been sitting at home,” he said. “It’s definitely bringing some jobs.”
Landers said his company has been busy this week putting in hundreds of feet of water lines to hook into water hoses to put out fires created from special effects. In addition to the money spent directly on set construction, Lacy said money is being in the form of crew meals and power to the site.
“This is a huge economic boost for Bossier City and Shreveport,” he said.
“White House Taken” will be directed by Antoine Fuqua and depicts a former secret service agent (Butler) as he works to prevent a terrorist attack on the White House.