Monday, Feb. 17, 2014

Star-Crossed Series Filmed at University of New Orleans' Nims Center Studios

Teenagers and twenty-somethings around the world will curl up on couches tonight, eyes transfixed, to watch Star-Crossed, a new CW network science-fiction drama set in Louisiana.

The show, which has already wrapped filming for a second season, was partially filmed and produced at the University of New Orleans' acclaimed Nims Center Studios, located on the University's Harahan campus. Star-Crossed airs locally at 8 p.m. CST Monday, Feb. 17 on WNOL.

Tune In Tonight!

Star-Crossed, a new television series on the CW Network, airs locally at 8 p.m. CST Monday, Feb. 17 on WNOL.

The show is a science-fiction romance filmed at the University of New Orleans Nims Center Studios.

"We're thrilled that the University of New Orleans' Nims Center Studios has played a starring role in the production of Star-Crossed," said UNO Vice President of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing Kevin McLin. "The Nims Center Studios are an important asset of the University and a home for filmmakers in Hollywood South. Hollywood South gives our students real-life opportunities to work on actual television series and motion picture sets, gaining valuable career experience as they apply what they've learned in the classroom and hone their crafts."

Star-Crossed, described as a Romeo and Juliet type tale, centers around high school students whose world is transformed when an alien species called Atrians enroll in their suburban high school with plans to test human/alien integration. Chalmette High School and its grounds helped to form the setting.

Atrians, identifiable by sprawling tattoos on their faces and necks, live in a heavily guarded camp called "the Sector" designed to keep them separate from humans, according to a show synopsis. When they enroll for the first time in high school, the Atrians capture world attention. Political and personal drama ensues as small-minded communities work to understand and adapt - and the Atrians begin to form relationships with high school students.

At the center of this series is Emery, played by Aimee Teegarden of Friday Night Lights and Roman, an Atrian played by Matt Lanter, former star of 90210. The pair first met in a dramatic episode when they were six and now, 10 years later, are reunited, each carrying memories of a special bond.

As their friendship and romance unfolds, Roman's father and Emery's father become increasingly alarmed by their strong bond, according to a show synopsis. Their conflict, egged on by tensions in their communities, plays out violently on the Sector compound.  At stake is the survival of Roman and Emery's love - and peace between the species. The dramatic high school series plays on themes of isolation, alienation, anger, hope and love.

The Times-Picayune reported last year that certain scenes filmed at Nims and at Chalmette High School mirror archival photos of high school desegregation in the 1960s.

"This is a show about what it means to be 'the other,'" Meredith Averill, the series creator and executive producer, as well as a former producer of The Good Wife and Life on Mars told Dave Walker of The Times-Picayune in a December interview. "It was inspired very much by desegregation and everything that happened back in the 1960s, with the added element of sci-fi, which we really love."

"Prejudice is always something that is felt throughout the world, and it's a big part of the show," Averill told The Times-Picayune. "And there's a Romeo and Juliet angle of what it is to accept people into your life who are not accepted by those around you."

The Times-Picayune highlighted the series as part of a coming boom in television series shot in New Orleans.

Star-Crossed is produced by Ole Productions, Isla de Babel SL and 360 Powwow in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television and includes a host of young stars, from Grey Damon of The Secret Circle to Natalie Hall of Pretty Little Liars and Malese Jow of The Vampire Diaries and Big Time Rush.

The series is directed by Gary Fleder, who previously directed Beauty and The Beast, Vegas and Runaway Jury, the first blockbuster filmed in Louisiana.

Nims Center Studios, a Key Player in Hollywood South

Originally a Campo furniture warehouse and with no production amenities, the Nims Center Studios served 10 years ago as production home for Runaway Jury, a 2003 American drama adapted from a John Grisham novel by the same name. The film, which starred John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and Rachel Weisz, instantly raised the profile of the UNO film program and the Louisiana film industry.

Known formally as the University of Orleans Robert E. Nims Center for Entertainment Arts and Multimedia Technology, the Nims Center Studios subsequently helped to launch "Hollywood South," drawing major motion picture productions to Louisiana with the emergence of state tax credits for the film industry, now estimated to bring the state more than $1 billion in annual revenues.

Operated under the direction of Roger Benischek, the nearly 100,000-square foot Nims Center Studios boast five stages totaling more than 50,000 square feet, four green screens, 45 production offices, editing suites, a mixing room, state-of-the-art sound and film equipment.

The UNO Nims Center is home to Cineworks, the only full-serve film processing lab in Louisiana and the only post-production studio offering a full range of digital processing services.

Located in the heart of the Orleans/Jefferson film district in Harahan, La., the studios were expanded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration to include a 5,000-square foot incubator facility where young and talented film industry entrepreneurs now work and UNO students, staff and alumni are able to take advantage of the studios' technology, industry internships and project development opportunities.

Recently, the Nims Center Studios has been the film production home to Oscar-Nominated 12 Years a Slave, which recently won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama and last night won a BAFTA award for Best Picture. The Oscar-nominated Dallas Buyers' Club, which has brought home a raft of critics' awards, was also filmed and produced at the Nims.

Over the last 10 years, the Nims Center Studios has been film home to a variety of other films and popular television series including: the award-winning film Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Failure to Launch, Glory Road, the Gossip Girl CWTV Series and many more.


See the Preview on Facebook


Read More

'Star-Crossed,' a Louisiana-Set Sci-Fi Drama, Debuts Monday,The Times-Picayune
HBO 'True Detective' Teaser Signals Coming Boom of New Orleans-Shot TV
A Romance From Beyond Mars and Venus - Girl Meets Alien in 'Star Crossed' on CW, The New York Times
In 'Star-Crossed,' CW takes Romeo and Juliet and adds aliens, New York Daily News


Learn More

the University of New Orleans, "The Heartbeat of the Crescent City"
UNO Department of Film, Theater and Communication Arts
Nims Center Studios
Doubly Blessed, UNO Magazine
The Search: University of New Orleans Rolls Out a New Commercial Campaign
Recent UNO Alumni Debut Feature Film at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles
Spring Film Production 2013 at UNO Makes Cameo In Upcoming CAC Exhibit
UNO Film Students Score at New Orleans Film Festival
University of New Orleans Film Festival Rises to New Heights
Alumni Spotlight:John Richie and Jonathan Jahnke Produce "Shell Shocked"