WBRZ – “Breaking Dawn” Will Surge Financial Benefits for Baton Rouge

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An economic boom is on the way to Baton Rouge because of the fascination with “Twilight.” Pre-production for the final movies is underway, and the buzz over vampires and werewolves is growing.

Everyone is talking about “Twilight” coming to town, but most people in the Baton Rouge movie business won’t talk about it.

“For confidentiality reasons, we can’t talk specifics about productions that we’re dealing with,” said Patrick Mulhearn, Director of Studio Operations at Celtic Studios.

“Well, there’s not too much I can say about the details of ‘Twilight,'” said Chris Stelly, Director of Film Industry Development with the Louisiana Economic Development.

While the movie’s publicist will only say the “when” for production kickoff is late this fall, a commercial real estate agent says one of his lease properties is where pre-production is in full swing.

“‘Twilight’ is going to do most of their production in Baton Rouge indoors, so they are leasing part of the building for offices, art studio, etc.,” said Mark Hebert with Kurtz & Hebert Commercial Real Estate.

That building is the old Coca Cola plant on Airline Highway. It’s across the street from Celtic Studios, where the film “The Big Valley” is just ramping up, and the production for “Battle: Los Angeles” recently wrapped. Whether or not “Twilight’s” last installment, “Breaking Dawn,” is coming to Celtic, the studio says big bucks follow big projects.

“Each production is like a small army, so you’re having to feed a small army, you’re having to house them, you’re having to entertain them,” said Mulhearn.

In the case of “Twilight,” Baton Rouge will also benefit from the twi-hards.

“What you’ll see is much like what ‘Steel Magnolias’ did for Natchitoches,” said Stelly. “People go to Natchitoches to this day to see the house in ‘Steel Magnolias.'”

The Baton Rouge area is counting on it.

“‘Twilight,'” said Stelly, “it’s gonna be a great addition to our cannon.”

“Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” is being filmed as two separate movies, with the first slated to hit theatres next November.