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Big Easy location managers tackle difficult tasks

Lipscomb, McNamara work as a team in Louisiana

Big breaks by the bayou | Schumacher’s Shreveport shoot | Big Easy location managers tackle difficult tasks

Ed Lipscomb and Greg McNamara knew they’d pulled off something substantial when they were able to close down a section of Interstate 49 in Shreveport for five weeks to get some crucial shots they needed for sci-fi actioner “Battle: Los Angeles,” which was shot in Louisiana.

The scenes didn’t just require a freeway closure and traffic rerouted. There was also the matter of it creating what the pair — who share location management and scouting duties on the projects they take together — delicately describe as a “big footprint.”

“They needed a lot debris to get the look they wanted,” says Lipscomb, a former director of the Louisiana Film Commission. “So we were really doing all kinds of things in that area and it was great to have earned the trust that allowed us to do that.”

For McNamara it was also high-water-mark in a profession that constantly has him “trying to pull off the impossible on a deadline.”

“When I was riding around the I-49 on a golf cart I realized it was really happening,” McNamara says. “How many other jobs are there where you get to ride around the Interstate on a golf cart?”

Lipscomb and McNamara have been working together since just after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Lipscomb was already a seasoned location manager and scout who’d worked in Los Angeles and throughout Louisiana. McNamara was beginning his career.

A large part of their work has been based in Shreveport, where a robust filming community developed while the Big Easy recovered from the damage of the storm. Now the city is one of the state’s major production hubs — along with New Orleans and Baton Rouge — and Lipscomb believes the area will only continue along this path.

“When I was director of the film commission we were trying to bring the film business here but now I’m actually surprised by how much and how fast it has grown in the state,” Lipscomb says. “I’m lucky to be in the place where my family lives and to be working with Greg (McNamara) because our skills really balance each other; that makes it easy to get things done.”

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