From tax credits to Treme, Louisiana’s burgeoning film industry has received much publicity in the past decade.
Tuesday was no exception, as two Tinseltown veterans visited River Parishes Community College to discuss the film industry in Louisiana. Shanna Forrestall and Lydia Laine spoke to Ms. Debbie Murphree’s speech classes about the Louisiana film industry and the opportunities it presents.
After giving a brief history of the film industry in Louisiana, Forrestall explained the differences between an extra, a featured extra, and an actor. An extra is someone in a scene who adds to the realism of a scene but does not speak. A featured extra is a person in a non-speaking role who plays multiple characters over multiple days of a shoot. An actor is someone who has a speaking role in the movie.
Forrestall’s film career began when she agreed to be an extra in a tv movie.
While on set, Forrestall noticed the incredible amount of planning and attention to detail that goes into producing a movie. “With my background in event management, I was blown away because I saw immediately the layers of what it took to make this project,” said Forrestall. “There was a French fry girl, who all she did between takes was refill French fries.”
The planning and attention to detail in a film production means that a wide array of opportunities exists. “Whatever your interests or hobbies, you may be able to apply that to the production industry,” said Forrestall.
To gain experience in the film industry, Forrestall recommends working on set as an extra or free intern.
For people interested in taking their film careers a step further into acting, Laine recommends hiring an acting coach and an agent.
River Parishes Community College in Sorrento, La., is an open-admission, two-year, postsecondary public institution dedicated to developing and assisting students in achieving personal, professional and academic success. A component of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and its board of supervisors, RPCC serves the Louisiana river parishes by providing transferable courses and curricula through certificates and associate's degrees. Please visit www.rpcc.edu or call (225) 675-8270 for more information.