Louisiana’s official state nickname is Sportsman’s Paradise thanks to rich and abundant natural resources and the fish and wild game that call it home. Related nicknames for our state include The Pelican State, in reference to our state bird, and Bayou State, thanks to our slow-moving streams.
There’s another nickname for Louisiana that is not all about our flora and fauna—Hollywood South. Thanks to our diverse settings for movies (Louisiana has everything including bustling cities, antebellum mansions and lush wilderness areas), generous state tax incentives for film producers and a sea of production support businesses ranging from cutting-edge soundstages and post-production facilities to large-scale catering and transportation operations, Louisiana is a global player as a movie and TV filming location. I’d be remiss not mentioning that movie and TV stars rave about enjoying our food, music and joie de vivre away from the sets.
Simply put, if you watch movies or TV, you’ve likely seen Louisiana on screen.
A comprehensive list of major movies and TV shows made in Louisiana in recent years would be too long to list here—the state film commission says more than 400. Here are a few ideas for mixing some of Louisiana’s more notable filming sites with your travels throughout the state:
- Louisiana’s antebellum plantations on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge remain a magnet for blockbuster films. In recent years, 12 Years a Slave and Django Unchained were filmed at Felicity and Evergreen plantations, respectively. For the classics enthusiast, the tours at Oak Alley and Houmas House plantations explain the mansions’ roles in making Interview with the Vampire and Hush … Hush, Sweet Charlotte.
- Fans of the popular CBS series NCIS: New Orleans can easily find locations featured in the show. Sites on and near Bourbon Street in the famed French Quarter and along St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District were common filming backdrops.
- Many areas offer tours based on the most notable film or TV projects. Natchitoches hosts a Steel Magnolias tour; Monroe-West Monroe has a trail to explore sites commonly viewed on A&E’s Duck Dynasty; New Orleans’ Tremé neighborhood will take you back to the hit HBO series by the same name; and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area will put you in the swamps where Troy Landry and several other alligator hunters make their kills on History’s Swamp People.
- Fans of the HBO hit True Blood can check out two downtown Shreveport sites positioned prominently in the opening credits—the Ogilvie-Wiener House, a creepy Victorian mansion, and just two blocks away, the Lucky Liquor store.
- On a somewhat related note, moviegoers who like to enjoy an adult beverage in an off-the-beaten-path locale will appreciate Fisherman’s Wharf in Des Allemands, Spillway Bar in Norco and Moonlight Inn in Port Vincent. The first two bars were used for many scenes in HBO’s True Detective series, and the last served as the Boar’s Nest in the movie remake of The Dukes of Hazzard.