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Third ‘Hunger Games’ movie filming locally

POSTED: September 25, 2013 4:00 a.m.

Movie crews are in Dawson County again this week to film scenes for "Mockingjay," the third installment in the popular "Hunger Games" franchise.

There's no word if Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland, who are among the cast of actors reprising their roles for the upcoming feature film, will make appearances.

But security is expected to be tight as off-duty officers have been hired and will be stationed at each end of the road that leads to the film site off Elliott Family Parkway.

Sheriff Billy Carlisle said the road will be closed to through traffic in an effort to "secure the area and their equipment."

The film crew reportedly arrived in town earlier this week to begin setting up the scenes. Filming is only expected to take place on Thursday.

This is the second time areas of Dawson County have been scouted for the "Hunger Games" franchise.

Lionsgate production crews were also in town near Amicalola Falls State Park last September for the "Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the second installment in the series.

Advanced tickets for "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" go on sale Oct. 1 for a worldwide release Nov. 22.

The filming in Dawsonville follows the release of "Trouble with the Curve," a movie starring Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams that shot scenes at Amicalola Lodge just west of downtown Dawsonville in early 2012.

While the Warner Bros. picture was critically acclaimed and could be Eastwood's last feature film, it did not reach the success level the "Hunger Games" franchise has banked.

The first installment released in March of last year grossed an estimated $155 million in its opening weekend.

Georgia has been one of the country's leading locations for Hollywood film production for a couple of years, thanks to the tax breaks and incentives the state offers.

Passed in 2008, the Georgia Entertainment Industry Act gives production companies a 20 percent tax credit if the company spends a minimum of $500,000 on production and post-production in the state.

Lionsgate was the first company to take advantage of the state's film tax incentive, according to Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey.

"Lionsgate has been a longtime partner of Georgia's entertainment industry. The fact that they are continuing to bring productions including this high profile franchise to Georgia reaffirms their commitment to our talented crew, diverse locations and accessibility," he said last year.

Christie Haynes, president of the local chamber and office of tourism development, said Dawson County is a proud partner in the state's Camera Ready program.

"Dawson County is truly the perfect community for filming as we offer diverse film locations from the mountains to rural farms to outlet shopping scenes," she said.

Haynes added: "We have a very cooperative community that respects privacy and is eager to work with filming crews.

"We are excited about future filming opportunities and will continue to market Dawson County as the perfect filming location."

There's also the added incentive of job creation that goes along with filming movies locally.

While aspiring actors and actresses can't expect to get wealthy working as movie extras, the jobs do typically offer minimum wage earnings.

According to regional entertainment web-based sites, Atlanta-based Catrett Locke Casting, which recruited extras for "Catching Fire" in Atlanta last year, recently issued a call for "men and women that are extremely thin ... all ages, ethnicities and looks."

A casting release issued last Wednesday indicates extras are paid and must be local because short notice will be given to arrive on set. Extras should also not expect travel reimbursement.

 

 

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