Pointe Coupee officials look to get the parish more involved in film industry

Pointe Coupee Parish is getting into the movie business.

The parish’s Office of Tourism and Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to form Film Pointe Coupee Consultants, a committee geared toward promoting more opportunities for local businesses and landowners to become part of the Hollywood experience.

The endeavor is the brainchild of Jeanie Andre, director of the Pointe Coupee Parish Office of Tourism.

Andre said forming the committee became important to her as she saw interest from producers about filming in Pointe Coupee increase last year.

“Within the last year I’ve had probably eight to 10 (film producers) contact me,” Andre said. “We saw the need to put something together so that when they do come here we can make their job easier.”

Andre is modeling the parish’s film committee after the Baton Rouge Film Commission — the Capital City agency that acts as a liaison for most of the movie projects that set up shop in East Baton Rouge Parish.

“Our rural towns are very important,” said Liza Kelso, head of the Baton Rouge Film Commission. “The recent ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ movie was truly filmed in several of the surrounding parishes. Whether some of our productions venture into the surrounding parishes depends on the films that need that rural look.”

Kelso considers Film Pointe Coupee Consultants a step in the right direction because Andre has always been Kelso’s “go-to person” when BRFC clients wanted to venture into the area for filming.

And because, in 2013, Kelso said 20 movie projects funneled through the BRFC had budgets totaling more than $110 million, Film Pointe Coupee could become a pretty lucrative financial endeavor for the parish.

Les Cantrell, director of economic development for the Pointe Coupee Chamber of Commerce, agrees.

When the camera crews from the television miniseries “Bonnie & Clyde” rolled into the parish last year, Cantrell said, local business definitely benefited. Actors and crew members often ate at local restaurants, rented large facilities to hold meetings and paid business owners to rent establishments for filming.

Pointe Coupee Parish also was a filming location in 2012 for the Warner Brothers movie “Beautiful Creatures.”

“This really can be financially beneficial for entities that participate with the committee,” Cantrell said. “We’re going to line up electricians, set builders, caterers, even talent that can be used as extras. We want to be ready 24/7.”

By partnering with the Pointe Coupee Chamber of Commerce, Andre said the parish filming committee will serve as a “resource center” maintaining a roster of local business and landowners willing to offer their properties to production crews for filming purposes.

Film Pointe Coupee Consultants will charge a consulting fee, Andre said, which will be split between the tourism office and the chamber. Both agencies will use those funds to funnel back into their local endeavors, she said.

Andre said being a part of the parish film committee will be lucrative for members because production crews often shell out top dollar for location access.

“We’re looking for any commercial business or landowner who think they have places film crews may be looking for,” Andre said. “We want them to profit from this.”

To become a member of Film Pointe Coupee Consultants visit www.pctourism.org.