Lake Charles native Michael McGowan will be coming home from Hollywood next week to begin shooting the movie “How to Love a Geek.”
Filming is expected to begin June 16 and last approximately three weeks at locations throughout the city. The full-length feature is expected to be released in 2013 and will be shown locally.
The movie is a romantic comedy about a clumsy girl next door who takes lessons from her attractive co-worker in hopes of capturing the attention and possible love of her boss. In exchange, the attractive friend gets lessons in becoming a geek.
McGowan, writer and director of the movie, was in Lake Charles last month to hold auditions for the movie, which he says went better than expected.
“I was very surprised and happy with the turnout and quality of actors that we got,” McGown said. “I was expecting a lot of nerves, but instead we saw lot of smiles and everyone was prepared and ready to knock the parts out of the park. We were able to cast 90 percent of the parts with people from Southwest Louisiana and the surrounding area. About a quarter of the cast members have some professional experience, mostly from stage plays, theaters and work as extras in the Lake Charles area. One of the lead actresses, Monqiue McCain, is pursuing a degree in theater at LSU. She is a third-year undergraduate at LSU.”
McGowan said it will feature 47 cast members. He is excited to work with the newcomers to the big screen.
“I enjoy the energy and enthusiasm they bring to the set,” he said. ”Beginners always remind me why I enjoy doing this. After a while it becomes so money-oriented, more of a business, but new people bring fresh air to the set.”
Since holding auditions, McGowan has been working to line up shoot locations.
“When I spoke to Randy Roach one-and-a-half years ago, I told him I wanted to spawn economic development,” he said. “I want to highlight local businesses. Since the auditions, I have been reaching out to them. We will be shooting at Scarborugh’s Spa, the airport, a lot of local public buildings like old and new courthouse. Luna’s Cafe will be a big part of the film and we will use the Capital One building and the old View restaurant that was on the top floor. We want to shoot from there to show the great view of the city.”
McGowan said he began to think about shooting in Lake Charles after seeing how friends from California reacted after visiting the city.
“I have been traveling back and forth to Lake Charles for 10-12 years,” he said. “When you spend a lot of time in one area, you forget about what you like about it. I always brought people with me, and they talked about how pretty the city is, how funny the people are. I thought why not shoot in Lake Charles. It is a beautiful city and everyone loves Southern hospitality. It has been a long time coming, but so far it has been a really good experience. The people are good and easy to work with. When you grow up in a place, you always think you want to leave, but there really is no place like home.”