News Column

Sprewell Bluff Park used to film popular TV series

August 16, 2013

YellowBrix

Aug. 16--Sprewell Bluff Park was the site last week of the filming of a popular television show that will air later this year. The county park was closed on Monday, August 5, as more than 100 employees of Stalwart Films of Senoia, Georgia, came in to work on the show. In addition, there were another approximately 50 persons with the catering company and other temporary personnel, including a snake handler, river rescue, off duty DNR rangers and off duty Sheriff's deputies to secure the site.

Upson County Commissioner Steve Hudson was involved with coordinating the use of the park by the film company.

"This is a culmination of several weeks of meetings with personnel from Stalwart Films and at least 5 trips to the Bluff from different employees of Stalwart who were involved in the production," said Hudson. "I want to thank Lori Smith of the Thomaston-Upson Chamber of Commerce for her help in obtaining the information they required and getting this done. These people ate at our restaurants, stayed in our hotels and made quite an impact on our local economy."

While the name of the television show was not released, Stalwart Films is the production company for AMC's "The Walking Dead." Based on the comic book series by the same name, "The Walking Dead" is the ongoing story of a Sheriff's deputy who comes out of a coma to find a post-apocalyptic world dominated by zombies. He sets out to find his family and joins with other survivors along the way. It takes place in the metro Atlanta area and the majority of its filming has taken place in Georgia. The most-watched drama series on basic cable, "The Walking Dead" is starting its fourth season this fall.

The film entertainment industry is having a huge impact on Georgia and the communities in which filming takes place. In fiscal year 2012 a total of 333 productions were filmed in Georgia. These include live action features, independent and TV/episodic film, commercials, and music videos. The economic impact of those productions is estimated to have been $3.1 billion.

Upson County became a Camera Ready Community in 2010. Chamber of Commerce Director Lori Smith said that designation helps production companies make their decisions of where to film easier.

"Camera Ready is a designation put in place by the state to offer film and television production companies easier, faster and better access to local resources and information," said Smith. "The Chamber receives inquires at least three or four times a month from scouts looking for film locations, Hopefully in the future you will see more movies being filmed in Upson County, All I can do as the Camera Ready Liaison for Upson is submit photos to the Reel Scout Site for directors and scouts to look over and hope they select our community."

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(c)2013 The Thomaston Times (Thomaston, Ga.)

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