‘Search Party’ begins filming downtown

“Search Party,” a comedy from the producers of “Pitch Perfect,” begins filming Thursday in downtown Baton Rouge, city-parish officials said.

The film is the directorial debut of Scot Armstrong, best known for writing “The Hangover 2,” “Elf” and “Old School.”

“We welcome our friends from Gold Circle and Universal back to Baton Rouge,” Mayor-President Kip Holden said in a news release about the filming.

“The last film that they made here was ‘Pitch Perfect,’ a musical comedy that cost $17 million and grossed more than $112 million at the box office,” Holden said. “We hope that they can build upon that success with the filming of ‘Search Party.’ ”

Liza Kelso, executive director of the Baton Rouge Film Commission, said the majority of the film will be shot in Baton Rouge, and the city should be heavily showcased. Some of the filming will also take place in New Mexico, she said.

In Baton Rouge, Kelso said, the scenes will be shot mostly downtown, including areas around North Boulevard, the state capitol and Spanish Town. Other scenes will shot at the LSU Rural Life Museum and at private residences around the parish, she said.

The movie’s budget is $15 million dollars, “that will go directly into our economy,” Kelso said.

Kelso said she’s pleased the production team decided to return to Baton Rouge, following their experience with “Pitch Perfect.”

“It’s become a recurring theme for us,” Kelso said. “They come and they make relationships with the mayor and the city and then they come back. That retention is so important to us because it proves that we’re a solid premier location for films.”

“Search Party” is about a pair of friends on a mission to reunite their friend with the woman he was going to marry, according to IMDB.com .

The film, which does not yet have an anticipated release date, stars T.J. Miller, Adam Pally and Thomas Middleditch.

The Mayor’s Office also warned the public about various downtown street closures and parking restrictions as a result of scenes being shot downtown Thursday through Saturday, and on Monday and May 14.

Kelso said she was unsure when the movie would wrap in Baton Rouge and that further road closures could be announced down the line as a result of filming.

Sony Entertainment is also filming its mini series “Bonnie and Clyde” around Baton Rouge and East and West Feliciana, Kelso said.

Beginning May 12, 20th Century Fox will begin filming “Maze Runner” in Baton Rouge, a $20 million film set in a post-apocalyptic world where boys are trapped in a maze and must join forces for a shot at escape, according to IMDB.