Louisiana is a Shining Star in The Lucky One

By:Sarah Beackley

Staff Writer

June 18, 2012

Another Nicholas Sparks story brought to the big screen, The Lucky One was filmed on location entirely in Louisiana. Logan,(Zac Efron) a Marine who has returned from three tours in Iraq, makes a very long journey—on foot—to find a woman named Beth (Taylor Schilling) who he seeks to thank for keeping him safe during the war. The strange part: He’s never met this woman before. It all started when he found a photograph of this woman among the rubble after an air raid. Unsure who the photo belonged to, he asked around, but when nobody claimed it, he held on to it. After surviving against all odds with the photo and it’s “keep safe” message by his side, he felt that somehow, without knowing it, she had kept him safe. What started out as a quest to find out who she was, thank her, and return the picture with his explanation turned into something much more complicated. As you can probably guess, after working with her at her dog kennel six days a week, they fell in love despite a threatening ex-husband, their strange circumstances, and the gossip of the small town. Great story—but one of the real stars of this film, overlooked by many, is the filming locations themselves, mixing historical southern properties and beautiful natural scenery.

The back-story, set on the frontlines in Iraq, was actually shot on location amidst post hurricane Katrina rubble in the St. Bernard Port Harbor and Terminal District. The largest shipping corridor in the world was transformed into an all-out war scene using the marina, the space for aerial shots from helicopters, and the disheveled land area to create an intense battle scene. We see Efron in the Union Passenger Terminal right after his bus ride home and right before he decided to head all the way to Louisiana from Colorado. Both a train and a bus station, Union Passenger Terminal has been around since 1954 and has remained a major hub for Amtrak and Greyhound. It was even used as a temporary jail after hurricane Katrina and also provided the first commercial transportation out of New Orleans after the 2005 storm.

The heart of story of course begins when Logan meets Beth, and all the scenes with the dog kennel, family house, and gorgeous garden had the Bobear Property as its filming location. The spacious, traditional Southern-style house showcased classic architecture and a traditional porch with dark wood furniture. The outdoors of the property featured gorgeous trees, open fields, and a shimmering lake, shot at the perfect time of year as summer changed into fall. Also breathtaking, Port Eads Lighthouse was also one of the main filming locations—scenes on Beth’s father’s boat and the rowboat scenes towards the end of the movie were filmed near here, as well as the scene where Beth’s son Ben was rescued from the water during a storm.

Other notable filming locations included Christ Episcopal School in Covington, LA and Houmas House Plantation in Baton Rouge. While the film definitely targets an audience who enjoys romantic dramas, the film’s story and on location filming combined make this a powerful film.

Fun Facts: Zac Efron had to train hard before filming began to add 20 lbs to his frame to get the “military man” look.

Even with the vast variety of scenery, the movie was filmed in just under three months.

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