NCIS: New Orleans scenes filmed at Destrehan Plantation

Murder mystery begins with a body found on the grounds

August 21, 2015 at 1:11 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

NCIS: New Orleans scenes filmed  at Destrehan Plantation
The wedding scene is dreamlike with a trellis surrounded by moss-draped oaks on the plush green grounds of one of Louisiana’s most epic locations when the murder victim is discovered.

Cue in the NCIS: New Orleans theme.

Shooting has begun for the fourth episode, entitled “I do,” of the television show’s new season at Destrehan Plantation and latest “Big Easy” murder mystery to be solved by stars Scott Bakula, Zoe McLellan, C.C.H. Pounder, Lucas Black and Rob Kerkovich out of the NCIS New Orleans field office. The show debuted on Sept. 23, 2014 on CBS.

The plantation lawn became the scene of the wedding and reception with the dining room turned into a hotel lobby.

The place got busy with people prepping the scenes for shooting on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

This is the fourth time since Nancy Robert was hired as executive director that she’s seen a film shot at the plantation. She was there when scenes were shot for the movies “Interview with the Vampire” and “12 Years a Slave,” as well for the American teen, supernatural television series, “Ravenswood” (cancelled last year).

“It’s always a lot of activity with this,” Robert said of these film productions.

With NCIS: New Orleans, she said multiple shots were taken of scenes to get the desired take. People are everywhere setting up scenes, including set designers, flourists, generator trucks and trailers for makeup, and food services.

Typically with film prospects, location scouts show up to inspect the scene although not all of them result in a filming opportunity, according to Robert. It did with a commercial for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and later for the Jaguar luxury car.

With NCIS: New Orleans, Lambert said a location scout visited the plantation two weeks ago and then returned with the show’s director and other crew members who signed off on the site. She added, “It was fairly quick when they made the decision and came out.”

In addition to the excitement of shooting a major television show at the scene, Robert also welcomed the economic boost that she has witnessed firsthand that came with the filming.“It’s a good source of revenue for a nonprofit for us,” she said of money that came at typically slow time for the plantation. “They bought out our tours for the day.”

Robert is an advocate for enticing the file industry to Louisiana.

Four of Robert’s employees made some extra money as servers in the episode, as well as had the thrill of being in a popular television show.

“They were happy to do it,” she said of her employees getting bit parts in the episode. “They were paid for their services, too.”

The economic boost came with all the films shot at the plantation.

“If I wouldn’t have seen it for myself, I might have said they’re giving money away,” she said of the tax breaks given the film industry that lured shows like NCIS: New Orleans to the state. “But they’re paying and it’s exciting so I think it’s good. I know they use a lot of different areas if the parish so it’s good for St. Charles Parish that they come into the parish to use certain areas. We were happy to get this.”

In June, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed bills effecting film tax credits in the state, including one that caps film tax credits at $180 million that has raised questions about the industry’s continued use of Louisiana for filming. This comes at a time when other states like Georgia and Kentucky are stepping up credits and facilities to lure the industry their way.

The film industry has definitely been good for Destrehan Plantation, as well as the attention it has gotten on Facebook when photographs of the shoot were posted, according to Robert. She said it also generates tourism, drawing people who like to see where these movies and shows are filmed.

It’s an even bigger attention-getter to be in the film, she said, and that’s certainly helped make Destrehan Plantation one of the most readily recognized locations in Louisiana.

“It’s a positive thing for Louisiana,” Robert said. “They employ all these people with limo services bringing people back and forth, for minor carpentry work and support all these businesses for catering and flowers. It’s good for economic development.”

View other articles written Anna Thibodeaux

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