PARK UPDATE: Progress Moves Forward!

Our neighborhood, Algiers Point, was just named New Orleans neighborhood of the year for the 2nd year in row! Included in the article below is a very exciting update and mention about the progress to complete the story THE LOT is based on and build a new park in our neighborhood for the kids of New Orleans. Check out the article below to read about our little slice of heaven and #7 especially for an update on THE LOT!

Thank you to Leighton Barrett Strong and Michael Verderosa for the awesome interview, Curbed New Orleans for the article, Baakir Tyehimba for the inspiration to create change and build the original park, Kathryn Hobgood Ray and the Confetti Kids board for continuing to push us forward. More exciting news to come!

THE LOT Update #4 - That's a WRAP! Post-Production here we come!

Lot Family,

After a break from the online world due to our many Facebook posts and emails in relation to our Kickstarter Campaign and Indiewire contests, it's time to reach out and update everyone on where we are!

The big news that I am very excited to share is that we are WRAPPED on our principal production of The Lot! We filmed over 6 days this summer, losing 2 of the original 6 days to rain, but completing those 2 days one week later! The film was a whirlwind to say the least but we could never have done it without your generous support and contributions! We had over 40 amazing volunteers on our crew over our 6 days of production, 6 principal cast members and over 15 neighborhood children who participated in the project! It was truly an amazing experience seeing the team work together and put in very long hours over many days and nights to tell this story. 

Baakir Tyehimba, who the story is based on, said he saw the community involvement reach a level he hadn't seen since he originally tried to build the park seven years ago.  Pretty strong words for a little idea that all of you helped bring to life.

Our post-production team is now hard at work on completing the film! Our editor is cutting as I type this update. We are hoping to have our New Orleans premiere in the coming months for all our amazing Kickstarter backers! (Don't worry we will be sure to let you know well in advance the final date so those who live out of town can make arrangements to attend!)

In case you missed our exciting news over July, we were voted Indiewire's Project of the Day, Week and then Month for July! Amazing for a small little New Orleans film to win such a large national contest. If you voted, thank you, we couldn't have done it without you!

I will be updating our website,, with pictures, interviews, clips and articles as we move forward with the film. Right now we have a number of great cast and crew interviews under the Media tab. Also a great interview with Baakir as he explains the true story of what happened seven years ago, the same story that inspired me to make this film.

If you received an email today about a address and email, please get that filled out and returned so we can send out your awesome rewards in the coming months!

Thank you again for helping tell this story!

Russell Blanchard

Some of our great neighborhood kids from The Lot with one of our leads, Navoj Decay (with bike) who played Sonny.

Some of our great neighborhood kids from The Lot with one of our leads, Navoj Decay (with bike) who played Sonny.

THE LOT Update #3 - Trailer shoot is wrapped!

That's a wrap on our Trailer!

THE LOT Crew on set!

THE LOT Crew on set!

Hey everyone! THE LOT film momentum just keeps going! This past Saturday we filmed our trailer and the shoot went great. We had such amazing talent and hard-working crew making sure our trailer was the best it could be, we could not be more thankful!

Baakir Tyehimba

Baakir Tyehimba

Thank you!

We want to give a special shout out and thank you to a few people who made the day possible. Baakir Tyehimba for allowing us to use Blackstar Books and Caffé to film and making us some wonderful food to keep our crew and cast going throughout the day! Kevin Herridge, owner of House of the Rising Sun Bed and Breakfast, for letting us borrow materials to make sure our production design team had all of the materials they needed. Lastly, all of the neighborhood kids who came out to participate in our film and bring energy and excitement to the set at the end of the day!

We had a great time working with all our cast and crew on Saturday and are very excited to be moving towards July with such an amazing group of talent.

Be sure to keep checking in for more updates and the soon release of the trailer!

THE LOT Update #2 - Welcome to our website!

Hello everyone and welcome to THE LOT film website! Thank you so much for checking us out. Although the website is new, we have been working on this project for over a year now, and are thrilled to give you an update on our current status. 

Pre-production on the film is very much underway, and we are just over a month away from filming! What does that mean exactly? Let us tell you...

After holding auditions back in April, we are officially fully cast! Casting is such an integral part of making a film, and it is only when you officially have your cast when the film begins to come to life. We could not be happier with all of the local New Orleans talent that came out and wanted to be a part of our film. Big thanks to our casting director Jacques Soudelier for the successful auditions! Be sure to check out the cast section of our website to learn more about our cast.

We have also been working hand in hand with Baakir Tyehimba who is the owner of Blackstar Café where we will be filming. Baakir's efforts to create a park for kids on the the lot in 2007 is the true story our film is based upon. It was his act of stepping out to help that started it all. Needless to say, his generosity is never ending and just as he stepped out 7 years ago, he is stepping out again to help us through this entire process.

Our crew is shaping up as a solid, talented and passionate group of people. Including our Director of Photography, Production Design Team, and Costume Designer, who are hard at work finalizing the look for the film. Everything from exploring camera options, to building set pieces, to sketches costumes; our crew continues to work tirelessly. Part of finalizing the look of the film will include a teaser trailer that we are shooting next weekend. The trailer will be a way for us to show everyone what our plans are for the film visually, in addition to get our audience excited for what is in store for the all trailers!

The trailer, along with another video introducing our films story and our crew, will be filmed to put on our crowd-funding campaign. That's right; in just a few weeks we will be launching a kickstarter to help fund the film! Of course by that we mean help pay for all our essentials like equipment, food, gas, and even water. Our entire crew and everyone involved are donating their time and talent for free because they believe in this project and the idea of being a part of something great that will inspire others. 

Funding for a film like this is so important in allowing us not only to have the support to tell the story the way we feel it needs to be told, but also to support all of the crew who are working for free.

As each day passes our film progresses more and more, so make sure to stay tuned for updates, including the days leading up to our big kickstarter launch!!

Thanks Everyone!

The Lot Film Crew

THE LOT Update #1 - Note from our Writer/Director

Russell and Baakir shoot an interview for THE LOT.

Russell and Baakir shoot an interview for THE LOT.

The New Orleans based film collective, LOCOFilm, is excited to announce our summer project for 2014, the narrative short film THE LOT.

Our name, LOCOfilm, reflects the power of a locomotive, and how once something powerful gets rolling it is very hard to stop. That’s how I envision the filmmaking process and it reflects how the last fourteen months have been for me as we have pushed forward on THE LOT.

THE LOT began as a conversation one block away from my home, over a cup of coffee and a sam'mich at the Blackstar cafe, in the Old Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans. The owner of the café, Baakir Tyehimba, began to tell me how seven years prior he briefly succeeded in turning the abandoned lot across the street into a park for kids but ultimately had to tear it down himself due to bureaucratic red tape.

His words resonated with me and I was inspired to write the first draft of THE LOT. A main theme is reaching out to help and dealing with the positive and negative ripple effects that are created. Also the idea that change begins within is a big part of our story. 

Our ultimate goal is to use the film to spread the message that an opportunity to help exists on every corner, on every street. We also plan to use the film to raise the funds through donations and corporate outreach to complete the story and finish the park.

Looking forward to the journey and sharing it with our wonderful cast, crew and team.

Russell Blanchard, Writer/Director