Baton Rouge film industry exec sees growing opportunities through streaming

The film industry is still catching up after the COVID-19-induced shutdown, says Katie Pryor, who directs the Film Baton Rouge office. 

She says the proliferation of streaming services has the industry telling more stories, and more types of stories, than ever before, creating more filming opportunities for the Baton Rouge area. 

“People are looking for culturally relevant stories, and Louisiana has the pleasure of being a cultural diamond,” Pryor says. “We look good on screen.” 

She says the makers of the Baton Rouge-shot National Treasure were attracted in part by the local culture and history. The most famous aspect of Baton Rouge culture—LSU, specifically LSU football—will take center stage in the upcoming feature The Mascot.

LSU has hosted many films including Pitch Perfect, when the campus stood in for fictional Barden University. As far as local officials are aware, The Mascot will be the first film in which LSU is both the shooting location and the explicit setting, which could help to drum up interest in the region. 

“Anytime you can be represented as yourself on screen, it’ll draw people to it and interest people,” she says. “We still have people who show up in Baton Rouge to stand where Robert Pattinson stood because they filmed Twilight here.”

Recent local film projects include:

  • Greyhound (feature film): Filmed in 2018, state expenditure $32 million, payroll $6 million; 
  • Paradise Lost (scripted series): Filmed in 2019, state expenditure $45 million, payroll $33 million;
  • Crater (feature film): Filmed in 2021, state expenditure $28 million, payroll $12 million;
  • National Treasure (scripted series): Filmed in 2021 and 2022, state expenditure $56 million, estimated payroll $17 million;
  • The Mascot (feature film): Expected to begin filming later this year.

This story originally appeared in a July 27 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.