Written by on Oct 25, 2010. Posted in Production News

Battle: Los Angeles doubles Louisiana for California

Upcoming science fiction thriller Battle: Los Angeles may be set on the West Coast but it involved extensive location shooting throughout Louisiana. The film tells the story of a platoon of US Marines defending Los Angeles against an alien invasion.

The flexibility of the state was crucial in the producers’ decision to shoot there. Filming ended up taking place in the cities of Shreveport and Baton Rouge, as well as Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City.

Arlena Acree, Director of Film, Media and Entertainment in the City of Shreveport, said: “The Production Designer and Art Department recreated some actual Los Angeles and Santa Monica restaurants and theatres. They also added great-looking fake palm trees. A lot of great detailed design, prep and construction went into the sets. They were fabulous!”

One of the principal reasons for shooting in Louisiana was the state’s willingness to provide a freeway setting for several weeks that was used to film a major battle set-piece in the film. Jeffrey Chernov, the Line Producer and Tommy Harper, the Unit Production Manager, said: “Every film has a particularly difficult location. For Battle: Los Angeles we needed a freeway shut down for a month. When no other city could deliver, Shreveport-Bossier did.”

Ed Lipscomb, the film’s Location Manager, said: “Louisiana’s filming incentives were crucial to the production shooting there rather than in Los Angeles. Also, working with the state to shut part of (highway) I-49 for five weeks was a major factor as that was used for one of the movie’s crucial action sequences. One of the major differences with Louisiana highways is that they don’t have the sound walls you see in Los Angeles, so we added those as well as California billboards.”

Amy Ferguson, of Louisiana Entertainment, said: “Raleigh Studios at the Celtic Media Centre and a neighbouring old plant were utilised for the numerous sets built, mill shop, offices and back lot. In terms of practical locations they filmed near the BR Metro Airport, a neighbourhood in downtown Baton Rouge, a park in Mid-city Baton Rouge and a major street in the heart of Mid-city Baton Rouge, to name a few examples. These locations were selected because they served the creative needs of the production and were also obviously film-friendly.”

Louisiana has become a very popular shooting location, due in part to its hugely competitive 30% transferable tax credit, which can actually be increased by 5% with local hires. The big-budget feature Battleship has scheduled filming in the state, while Twilight: Breaking Dawn is also shooting there.

Battle: Los Angeles will be released in cinemas around the world from March 2011.

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