Movie projects like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button have provided valuable revenue to beleaguered New Orleans, and new studio and soundstage developments aim to ensure the city has all the amenities filmmakers need to complete their projects. The city is getting 600,000 feet of soundstages—needed to shoot indoor scenes—and a $30 million studio that’ll be the largest east of Albuquerque, USA Today reports.
The construction gives hope that film revenue won’t dwindle in the recession. “If it were to go away tomorrow, it would be a sizable blow,” says a city official. Last year, 21 TV and movie projects took advantage of the Big Easy’s tax credits; six more are under way this year. Post-Katrina, “there was an opportunity to come back and build smarter,” notes a native.