Movie Magic in Shreveport, LA

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The term “Hollywood of the South” has a little competition, but Louisiana certainly claims it (don’t tell Georgia).  New Orleans has a long history in the pictures, but North Louisiana came about their “Hollywood” moniker in a uniquely opportunistic way.

Back in 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and left film studios scrambling to find new locations.  Located about 5 hours to the north, Shreveport/Bossier answered the call.  They were able to step in with little notice or experience, capture the displaced film crews and make a name for themselves within the industry in the process.

Shreveport, LA

You may not have heard of Shreveport or Bossier City, but you’ve likely seen it on the big or small screen whether you know it or not.  Shreveport has drawn much praise from the industry for its ability and willingness to transform into various landscapes for filming purposes.  Shreveport has doubled for everywhere from Guantanamo Bay to the biblical city of Sodom and just about anywhere in between, and of course you’re probably familiar with the fictional town of Bon Temps from the “True Blood” series.

The film industry comes to Louisiana for the tax incentives, but they flock to Shreveport because they will literally bend over backwards to accommodate outrageous film request, up to and including shutting down an entire freeway for a month for the filming of “Battle Los Angeles” and building the only motion picture wave making tank for “The Guardian” (though it can also be seen in Shark Night 3D).

Now that New Orleans is back on its feet, Shreveport has lost a bit of momentum in the blockbuster arena but there is still plenty of action in television, indie and smaller movie productions.  If your visiting Shreveport during filming, you may be lucky enough to score an extra spot on the Fox show “Salem”.  I was not there during filming, but I did poke around on the set and get some photos courtesy of Fox.

The set of the Fox series "Salem" in Shreveport, LA

The set of the Fox series "Salem" in Shreveport, LA

The set of “Salem” is stunning and really transports you to 17th century Massachusetts.

Shreveport and some of the outlying towns in North Louisiana feature a self-guided “film trail“, where you can visit the settings of some of the famous films that have been hosted there.  In nearby Minden, LA, you’ll find signs littering the street notating where various movies have been shot.  They also have an interactive element; just scan the QT code on your smart phone or device to see a clip of the movie scene that was filmed there.

The North Louisiana Film Trail in Minden, LA

If just looking at the movies isn’t enough for you, worry not.  Physical set locations are not the only movie magic you’ll find in North Louisiana.  Shreveport is also on the cutting edge of digital media and animation, where you can really get in on the action.

The Digital Media Institute at Intertech is a non-profit school training the next generation of movie magic makers. DMI offers year long programs in animation, visual effects, and software development.  I don’t know a ton about technology, but still had a great time touring the facility.  It’s definitely not the kind of school you would expect to find in the relatively small town of Shreveport. They host occasional open houses at the facility, but you can also call to schedule a tour if you’re interested.  I would certainly recommend it.  I got to play around with all sorts of expensive fancy equipment like the virtual reality Oculus RIFT, which is available for pre-order now for around $600 with a few games.

Playing around with the Oculus RIFT at the Digital Media Institute at Intertech in Shreveport, LA

I also got a behind the scenes look at green screen animation.

The Digital Media Institute at Intertech in Shreveport, LA

The Digital Media Institute at Intertech in Shreveport, LA

After a student completes a degree at DMI they don’t necessarily need to look to far for work.  In the same building you’ll find Moonbot Studios.  Film aficionados may already be familiar with this young studio from the 2012 Academy Awards, where they won an Oscar for their first ever short film, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore”.  Moonbot Studios has since won several more awards across the numerous fields they’ve dominated, such as books, video games, and apps.  Moonbot also offers open houses at time, and they are definitely worth checking out.

Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, LA

Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, LA

It may not be as famous as Hollywood, but Shreveport and the rest of North Louisiana is certainly on it’s way.  Shreveport may even have a leg up in that you’re unlikely to run into terrifying unlicensed cartoon characters trying to sell you maps of celebrity homes.


I would like to thank Louisiana North for graciously hosting me on this adventure, but as always, all opinions are my own.




18 thoughts on “Movie Magic in Shreveport, LA

  1. I had never heard of Shreveport before! I’d love to go behind the scenes like that. I studied cinema when I was younger so I’d be curious to actually visit such a studio! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I heard about Shreveport before, but never in relation to the movie industry. Fascinating and, honestly, it came as a complete surprise.

    It’s funny to have an educational institution and a studio in one building. I guess Moonlit Studious gets the first pick at the DMI’s roster of graduating students and picks the best ones. Good for them.

    Great photos! I am not sure if I would be brave enough to try this guillotine personally. You know, accidents happen.

    • Mags

      haha. Thanks for reading. I’m not that brave. Luckily it was just a movie set and not real!

  3. Shreveport looks amazing! I wish I knew about it when I was living in Florida – that would have made a great weekend escape (if the mouse had ever given me two days off in a row!) And playing with the green screen tech would be awesome! Thank you for sharing & spreading the world about what could probably be one of the coolest cities in the USA!

  4. Wow! I didn’t know anything about Shreveport or it’s film industry. I’ve dabbled in film myself and would love to visit the area just for this 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a cool peek behind the scenes. I never knew there was a film industry in LA. Having only visited New Orleans, I’d love to explore more of this Southern state.

  6. Hey I haven’t heard of this and its interesting to know. Its always nice to watch behind the scenes and find out how these things come together.

  7. If I had another career, it would definitely be in the realm of TV special effects and production, this is such an amazing industry. I would have loved taking that tour.

  8. What an interesting article! I never knew any of this, or had even heard of Shreveport before!

  9. sounds like a place for film and tv buffs to visit sets. Its great that towns can re-generate them selves to capture new industries like this town. Australia used to have many movies made here before the US sank into the global financial crisis when the dollar was low. Its just starting to recapture motion films back to being made down under

  10. What a nice overview of Shreveport. Never heard of it before, but glad to know it was available after Hurricane Katrina. Sounds like it has potential of becoming the new Hollywood!! Great pictures and fun city:)

  11. OMG I love this place. The size of that green screen is incredible. I would love to film something there so I can take advantage of the that green screen

  12. love that you wrote a post on Shreveport LA! I grew up in Dallas, so shreveport was a weekend destination for gambling back in the day. Love all the things there are to do there.

  13. I didn’t know about Shreveport. In Spain we have also a filming village, but nothing you can compare with Shreveport.

  14. The movie sets are really cool! With Louisiana and Georgia, the south has many great opportunities for the movie lover!

  15. Shreveport was on my radar because of True Blood, but I didn’t realize it was such a big movie production hub too!

  16. […] since Hurricane Katrina. (If you aren’t familiar with my last post, you can get up to speed here.  Go ahead, I’ll wait)  While bringing in film makers from Hollywood has been a huge boost […]

  17. Film sets always bring out the child in me! I’d love to get in on the green screen action!

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