"Alright guys, lets start the waves," says the director to cast and crew. It's more than just lights, camera, action, here in Shreveport's Slack Industrial Park these days. It's also wind and waves. It's Disney's movie, "The Guardian". The film centers around Kevin Costner, that's him there gearing up for his rescue scene, and Ashton Kutcher, playing the role of Coast Guard Rescuers. Hurricane Katrina forced the film out of New Orleans and north to Shreveport. The film's Producer Tripp Vinson says, "the irony is the people who emerge as the heroes in Katrina were the very people we're making this movie, about the coast guard swimmers".
The first assignment for prodcers was to find a spot to build this enourmous wave tank for it's scenes, which take place in Alaska's Bering Sea. Now this one of a kind tank sits in Shreveport. Peter Mcgregor Scott says, "we've got an 8,000 square foot, 750,000 gallon tank and it's able to make nine foot waves". Scott says it cost a cool million to build and operate, for at least three scenes. Right next to the tank sits what looks like a lot of steel rods and scaffolding, but it's more than that. It's a set. They're building a cave and once it's covered with concrete, they'll use these big cranes to move it into the tank for a rescue scene. Production Designer Maher Ahmed says, "the scene involves kayakers trapped inside a cave with water bashing against the entrance to the cave and the Coast Guard rescue swimmers come and get them". As for the tank's future after the film, it could be demolished. Ahmed says, "if Louisiana has something unique to offer like this tank, it will keep productions coming here". Now the tank may need a rescuer of it's own.
The Executive Director of Shreveport-Bossier's Film Office, Betty Jo LeBrun, says the wave tank would greatly add to Shreveport's movie infrastructure. LeBrun says talks are underway with Disney, the land owner, and private investors to purchase the tank for future use.