‘Katrina & Biloxi’ passes quarter-million-dollar mark

The city-commissioned “Katrina & Biloxi” photo album and DVD is now being sold in 12 south Mississippi Wal-marts, and the retail giant says it may increase its $210,000 order and expand sales, depending on consumer interest.

The photo album/DVD package – which Wal-mart is now selling for $39.88, plus tax – is available in stores in Biloxi, D’Iberville, Gulfport, Lucedale, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Petal, Picayune, Waveland, Wiggins and two stores in Hattiesburg.

The city had invested about $85,000 to produce 30,000 copies of the photo album and DVD to document the city’s devastation and recovery from Hurricane Katrina. As of last week, the city had taken in nearly $80,000 through online sales, which continue on the city’s web site at biloxi.ms.us.

In the Wal-mart deal, Anderson Merchandisers, a Wal-mart buyer, is purchasing 6,000 photo album and DVD packages at $35 each, netting the city $210,000.

Proceeds from sales of the photo album and DVD will be used in the city’s rebuilding effort.

Cable One, the Gulf Coast cable provider, will soon begin airing on cable channels locally a minute-long trailer to promote Wal-mart sales. To see the trailer, click here.

“We’re quite proud of this project,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said, “and in addition to telling the story of the people of BiIoxi, it has become a revenue stream for the city. We appreciate the support from Wal-mart and from everyone who has made a purchase. Our goal now is to maximize sales and expand the sales area between now and the first anniversary of the storm on Aug. 29.”

The 52-page photo album was created and designed by Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel and Robin Stephens of The Ad Group in Biloxi. It was printed and packaged with its companion DVD by Knight Abbey Commercial Printing and Direct Mail, another Biloxi firm.

The DVD itself, which was co-produced by Tom Nebel Productions of Navarre, Fla., covers 80 minutes, highlighted by a 50-minute documentary of vignettes, original scoring and the song “Heavens Cry” by songwriter Brad Jerkins of Dothan Ala.,. who scored the project. The DVD also includes storm footage, aerial photography, before photographs and an interview with Mayor Holloway that was conducted on the afternoon of Aug. 29, as winds began to subside outside City Hall in downtown Biloxi. The city partnered with Tom Nebel Productions to produce the DVD after the firm accompanied the Atlanta Fire Department to Biloxi in the wake of the storm.

Noteworthy links

To see the 60-second trailer for “Katrina & Biloxi,” click here.

To read reaction from those who have purchased “Katrina & Biloxi,” click here.

To see photographs from the Jan. 30 world premiere of the DVD at the Saenger Theater, click here.