Nebraska film officer’s 28-year career included working with Payne, Coen brothers

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Laurie Richards (left) and director Chloé Zhao (right)
Courtesy Nebraska Film Office

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska isn’t your typical backdrop for a Hollywood blockbuster.

Yet some films do prefer a taste of what the state has to offer, and that’s where Laurie Richards typically comes in.

But after a 28-year career in Nebraska’s film industry, Film Officer Richards is calling it quits.

“I’m ready to hand off this position,” said Richards, who works to advance the film industry in the state. “It’s been a wonderful ride, and I have been so fortunate to be a part of this exciting and growing industry in Nebraska.”

Her career began in 1994, when she started as a film liaison for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

Since then, Richards has worked with location managers, producers, directors and writers across the film industry.

“I love driving across the state, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, as well as learning about a new business or activity that can be cross-promoted for film and media production and used by the locals and tourists alike,” she said.

During her decade-spanning career, Richards has worked with acclaimed directors such as Nebraska native Alexander Payne, Joel and Ethan Coen, and Chloé Zhao.

She is also a recipient of Nebraska’s Mary Riempa Ross Award for her work in the film industry.

“If I’ve done anything to help put Nebraska on the map for film production, I am happy about that,” Richards said.

A co-worker, Gentri Shopp, will now “step in” Richards’ shoes.

“She has a great attitude, is easy to work with, understands challenges within the industry and loves meeting people,” Richards said.  “I think she is perfectly suited to liaise with Nebraskans and market to outside opportunities.”

Categories: Nebraska News, News