New Orleans Film Production Shuts Down As Dangerous Storm Approaches

New Orleans film production shut down ahead of storm
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Film production is shutting down completely in New Orleans in advance of Tropical Storm Barry, which is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday.

“All shows here are shut down but one, and that one is shutting down at noon,” said Cory Parker, business agent of New Orleans IATSE Local 478. He said there are currently “eight or nine” shows filming there.

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Shows that have been shooting in Baton Rouge and Hammond also are shutting down to allow crews to get home before the weather gets worse. “All productions are allowing crews to go home and take care of their personal things, which is a wonderful thing,” Parker said. “Everyone across the board is doing the right thing by the crews. Nobody is making any bad decisions.”

Parts of New Orleans already are underwater, though, with nearly two feet of rain predicted for large parts of Louisiana in the coming days. The National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Barry strengthed a bit overnight, and flash-flood warnings are widespread.

“We’re about 14 hours out from it really hitting New Orleans,” Parker said today at noon local time. “It’s not even raining here right now, but everyone’s being abundantly cautious. We’ve been through this before.”

So often, in fact, that the local has its own hurricane policy, which states that once the National Weather Service announces a hurricane watch – usually issued 48 hours in advance of the onset of tropical force winds – “Production will cease by the end of the working on which the watch is issued. Production should consider ending the workday at the end of the eight hour minimum workday. The day a watch is announced should be the last workday until the storm has passed. During this last workday employees can be requested to assist production in securing equipment and locations. At the close of the workday Local 478 employees (and those working in a Local 478 covered craft) must be released from work until the weather threat has passed.”

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