Hollywood returns to Baton Rouge for film shoot at LSU
BATON ROUGE – There was an extra level of excitement at LSU Monday. Film crews took over campus. The filming was happening in the quad and outside of the Law School building. The Director of the independent drama called ‘Swing’ said campus is a perfect setting for his vision.
“We wanted to give the campus scenery a richness and make it seem like it was a special school, and the quad on the campus definitely fit the bill,” said Michael Mailer.
The activity grabbed a lot of students’ attention. There was a crowd surrounding crews sitting in plain sight.
“The students have been really thrilled to see us. It’s been great for us to have the happiness factor on set,” said Mailer. “Some of them are coming up to me and saying they're a film student, and this is amazing. Whatever we can give back in that sense is always a priority.”
Fittingly, the plot surrounds a group of college students who are on the fictional school’s rowing team.
“The team is comprised of very talented individuals, but as a team they're terrible. So they bring in this guru coach who instills a sense of community and a sense of coherence,” said Mailer.
That coach is being played by Oscar nominated actor Michael Shannon. Shannon starred in the movie 'The Shape of Water.'
“He’s a world class actor,” said Mailer.
The lead rowers include Alexander Ludwig, who played a role in 'The Hunger Games', and Charles Melton, who is known for his role in the TV show 'Riverdale.'
“Charles was mobbed on LSU campus Monday, which is good because that means there’s a market for my movie,” laughed Mailer.
Filming went into the night Monday, and consisted of mainly local crews. Even some of the actors cast are local.
"There's a great base of talent, and it's a good place to shoot,” said Mailer, referring to the Louisiana film industry. “It's my fourth movie here."
Mailer says that's what he enjoys about filming in the capital region – there's a sense of community, and that value will be showcased in his movie, ‘Swing.’
"The themes are really about community and discipline and putting the team above personal self and egos,” said Mailer. “I think it's a good message to be told in this day in age."
The independent movie will only be shot on campus for a couple of days. Majority of the rowing scenes were shot in False River over the weekend.