After a Writers’ Strike Halted Production, the New Orleans Film Industry is Ready to Move Forward

by IS_Indust

Although there aren’t many shoots right now, insiders seem cautiously optimistic.
Chris Cado and his team built a press to imprint brick and stone designs on foam fake walls on a Friday morning in a repurposed warehouse off Jefferson Highway. They were preparing a set for the third season of the scripted Prime Video series “Leverage: Redemption,” which pairs strong villains with seductive con artists.

One indication that the Louisiana film and television industry is gradually recovering from one of the longest production droughts in its history is the sight of Cado, a construction supervisor, and his crew busily working on Electric Entertainment’s Elmwood sound stage. The SAG-AFTRA actors union’s industrial action and the Writers Guild of America’s strike from the previous year nearly brought the industry to a complete halt, leaving many in New Orleans and other film hubs scrambling to make ends meet.

Despite the September and November settlements negotiated by the unions and Hollywood studios, many productions will take a while to resume. As of right now, “Leverage: Redemption” is the sole television program filming in Louisiana, according to tracking services from Film New Orleans and Louisiana Entertainment. They anticipate more to arrive soon.

Relieved to be back on the job, Cado expressed his gratitude to his staff of roughly twenty carpenters, electricians, and other professional artisans. After the protracted outage caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, many had suffered throughout the strike.

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