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Economic panel seeking film locales

Photo by Jay Jones

Photo by Jay Jones

CONYERS -- The Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council is creating a database of locations to help movie and television film crews find the right scene for their productions.

Gina Hartsell, CREDC executive assistant, said she has done an initial search for locations to put in the database. She contacted the owners of the properties and other properties are welcome to be considered.

"That is the biggest hurdle we have to jump is getting our database loaded for these people to look at," she said. "We've had a pretty good response, so far."

The database project is spurred by recent film productions coming to Conyers and Rockdale County, such as the feature films "Fast Five" and "Joyful Noise" and television series "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Walking Dead."

Some of the early locations for the database are obvious and include public parks and landmarks.

Local viewers of MTV's "Teen Wolf" that premiered this week may recognize Costley Mill Park as one of the local spots where the cable television series was filmed earlier this year.

Hartsell said private locations are next to be cataloged. She believes there are certainly some hidden gems of possible film locations available to add to the database, if the property owners are willing to allow a film crew in their home or on their property.

"That's something people will have to consider. You'll have your house in a movie, but then you'll also have a lot of people coming in to film," she said. "They will also move stuff around to meet their needs, but they will put everything back the way that they found it."

Hartsell said the entertainment business has provided a significant economic boost to the community and the location database is designed to make Conyers and Rockdale County attractive for more film production companies to come here.

Glenn Sears, CREDC executive director, said production of "Fast Five" generated about $7 million in local spending. He credited the good experience of "Fast Five" with attracting the current production of "American Reunion," the latest installment of the "American Pie" movie franchise.

Both movies are distributed by Universal Studios.

"These people talk to each other," Sears said. "They don't go looking on the Internet for stuff. They say, 'Who did you use? Where do you like to be?' and all of that stuff. I've said this before, but film people tell us this is one of the best communities to use."

The effort is also part of the county's designation as a Georgia Camera Ready Community. CREDC works with the The Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office to offer film and television production companies easier, faster and better access to local resources and information.

For more information, go to www.credcga.org or call 678-509-0133.