Helmer pumps local Muscle

Holly to shoot parts of 'Bonnie' in Louisiana

Sweet home … Louisiana? Alabama filmmaker Tonya S. Holly has gone south to film “The Story of Bonnie and Clyde,” conceived as a realistic retelling of the outlaws’ tale, featuring locations from their actual exploits and timed to the 40th anniversary of Arthur Penn’s seminal 1967 film.

Holly plans to shoot roughly a third of the movie in her home state, but will lense a majority of the pic in Louisiana because of its aggressive tax incentives, which include a 25% tax credit.

Holly, who serves as president of Cypress Moon Prods., has strong ties to Alabama and is a proponent of filming across the South. She recently bought the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios on the banks of the Tennessee River, where she is in the process of restoring the 33,000-square-foot facility.

Cypress Moon eventually plans to offer post-production capabilities in the building, which has seen recording artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to Bob Dylan to Duane Allman pass through. Holly even shot some of the scenes from her directorial debut, “When I Find the Ocean,” in one of the studios.

“Regardless if there are incentives in place or not, it is cheaper to shoot here in the South,” says Holly. But the bottom line is not the only reason she sees this part of the country as a gold mine for moviemaking.

“For some reason, the public loves to see Southern stories,” explains Holly, who recently finished a second draft of her Bonnie and Clyde script, “so there’s a million things to be done.”

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