Meanwhile, construction is about to begin on a $20 million movie studio complex in the greater New Orleans area. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the complex will include soundstages, digital postproduction facilities, and an outdoor replica of the French Quarter.
The one problem filmmakers are encountering is a lack of qualified people to work as extras or as crew. The LA Times article included an example from Big Momma's House 2: the casting director couldn't find enough attractive actresses for a hot-tub scene, so they had to import talent from other states. (As a native of the area, I find this difficult to believe.) Competition is also fierce to hire experienced production crew members in the area. New Orleans is starting a municipal training program for grips and electricians and hopes to expand to other film-related jobs. I wish the city would start a training program for out-of-state actors to sound authentically New Orleanian.
Hollywood? Forget about it. If you want production or acting experience, perhaps you should migrate to the Big Easy.