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‘That’s a wrap’

Production finishes in Dawsonville

POSTED: March 28, 2012 4:00 a.m.
Michele Hester Dawson Community News/

Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood films a scene for “Trouble with the Curve” on March 20 at Amicalola Lodge in Dawsonville.

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Tuesday was a wrap for movie scenes filmed at a motel near downtown Dawsonville.

The cast and crew have moved on to their next location, leaving only the memory that Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood spent a week here and gave the community a glimpse of Hollywood.

"It's Clint Eastwood - it's a big deal for the town. It's a buzz for the people," said Sean Sears, who drove from Dahlonega to see the star.

The Warner Brothers' production "Trouble with the Curve" stars Eastwood as an aging baseball scout who travels to Atlanta with his daughter to see a hot prospect.

The movie also features Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake. Both were said to be on set for the shoot.

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.

While it remains unclear how much Warner Brothers spent to film the scenes in Dawsonville, officials said the movie has lit a spark in the local economy.

Dozens of off-duty sheriff's officers were hired to direct traffic near the set and work security throughout the week. And film crews were spotted buying construction supplies at a local home improvement center.

"Crew members were also buying gas locally and visiting restaurants, so that had an impact on our economy, too," said Marty Williams, vice president of travel and tourism for the local chamber of commerce and the county's Camera Ready liaison.

The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office launched the Camera Ready Communities program in 2010 to train and certify Georgia counties on how to work with production companies and provide local, one-on-one assistance with productions.

Williams said the incentive program has been a boon for Georgia and he expects Dawson County to reap similar rewards.

"We've had several short films and TV series - a lot about moonshine and cars - film here, but this is our first major motion picture," Williams said.

"Hopefully, this will open the door for future motion pictures to be filmed in Dawson County."

Williams said the film's true economic impact will come when the movie is released and the words "Filmed on location in Dawsonville, Georgia" are seen on movie screens across the country.

Film companies receive an additional 10 percent tax credit if the Georgia promotional logo appears in the credits of the finished product.

"We're hoping people will want to come to Dawsonville and visit ‘The Grey Squirrel,' the name they chose for Amicalola Lodge in the movie," Williams said.

Williams added that the producers and location scouts likely will remember the local hospitality.

"The city and county officials have been so accommodating and so very cooperative," he said. "Warner Brothers just loves Dawson County and Dawsonville, because they made this week so seamless.

"Producers don't always find that in a community. The way they were treated goes a long way."

Williams said he has been in contact with filmmakers interested in using the county as the backdrop for a film about a local family that struck gold in Georgia and Colorado.

"It's really too early to tell if that will pan out, because they're just getting started," he said. "But they are interested and the focus, which was originally on Colorado, has turned to Dawson County," he said.

 

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