Let’s bring bright lights back home

Published 12:04 am Thursday, April 15, 2010

The traditional Hollywood cry of “Lights! Camera! Action!” may yield dollar signs for Natchez.

Through its history, Natchez has been the backdrop for many, many Hollywood film and TV productions.

But in recent years, the brushes with the film industry have become fairly rare.

Monday’s filming of the HBO series “True Blood” may have changed that trend.

In addition to being what we believe may be the city’s first vampire feature, the exposure the production may bring to Natchez could spark more such projects to consider the area.

Many of the past silver screen selections filmed here have come to take advantage of the city’s historic houses in pieces that are set in a time long ago.

But “True Blood” is a modern tale and, perhaps, signals a rebirth of Natchez’s involvement in the film industry.

The arrival of the HBO film crew is due, in no small part, to both Ed Godfrey, who helped bring the crew to Natchez, and the governing board of the Pilgrimage Garden Club, which owns antebellum Longwood, the site of the filming.

Godfrey wisely pointed out the huge economic impact that fostering the local film crew could bring to the area.

This week’s endeavor alone resulted in the purchase of several hundred nights’ stays local hotel rooms.

That is exactly the kind of investment the area needs to attract — outside dollars.

Imagine the economic impact if we had a few such film crews coming into the area each month.

That’s worth the price of letting a few vampires loose in the city limits.