Georgia has many motels, but Robert Lorenz knew he had found just the right location when he saw Amicalola Lodge in downtown Dawsonville.
Lorenz, director of the upcoming Trouble with the Curve, a movie starring Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams, was scouting the area with one of the movies producers when they stopped in a community not far from the area in November 2011.
We went into this little visitors bureau, he said, and there was a guy working there who was actually a former police officer. He said we had to go check out this place in Dawsonville. So we did, and it worked out.
The film was shot in various locations across Georgia, including in Athens and Atlanta, but several pivotal scenes were taken right here at the Amicalola Lodge in Dawson County. Lorenz, along with the movies stars, including Eastwood, was shooting scenes here in the county in late March 2012.
Everything about the Dawson motel was perfectly suited for what was needed for the movie, Lorenz said. We wanted it on a road, a highway without much across the street, he explained.
The interior motel scenes in the movie also were shot at Amicalola Lodge. Sometimes, exteriors of buildings will be used with different interiors set up, but Lorenz said both the inside and the outside of the local motel worked well.
There was so much (of the characters going) in and out through the doors, so it made it simpler, he said. We actually took over a couple of rooms, and we kind of rebuilt them. We made one a little bit bigger than they actually are.
Trouble with the Curve centers on Gus Lobel, portrayed by Eastwood, a baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves. His daughter, Mickey, played by Adams, is a high-powered lawyer in Atlanta. The movie delves into the tumultuous and often hostile relationship the two have with each other as Mickey accompanies Gus on a scouting trip.
Other nearby shooting locations include Young Harris, Jasper and Athens.
Justin Timberlake and John Goodman also star in the movie, which was written by Andy Brown.
I think theyre all going to buy retirement homes there, Lorenz laughed, remembering how much the stars enjoyed their time in Dawson. We all had a great time. It was sort of getting away from the hustle and bustle in Atlanta.
Lorenz, along with the actors, stayed at Triple T Bed & Breakfast, and also spent some time just going through the county while they were here. The folks were wonderful, very accommodating, he said. People didnt bother us. They let us work.
I hope we captured the charm of the area.
Pravin Patel, owner of Amicalola Lodge, said that he had seen an uptick in people coming to the motel because of the movie. They were very nice to me, he said of the cast and crew of the movie. They were very nice people. We had a nice time, too.
Walter Newell, a new Dawson County resident, is staying in the expanded room with his family. He said they originally chose the room because it is larger and more accommodating, but the fact that it will be in the movie was a side bonus.
Im a big Clint Eastwood fan, he said, so it worked out pretty well.
Trouble with the Curve is the first acting role Eastwood has taken since 2008s Gran Torino.
Hes certainly not actively looking for roles to play, Lorenz said, dismissing the idea that Eastwood had retired from acting. There are very few roles that come in that feel appropriate to him.
Lorenz said that both he and Eastwood are continuing to seek directing opportunities. For Lorenz, this was his first full directing job after working on several assistant directing and producing jobs with Eastwood, including Gran Torino, Flags of our Fathers and Million Dollar Baby.
Chamber President Christie Haynes said its exciting to be able to go to a movie and see a familiar location.
That is something we should all be extremely proud of, because of all the places in Georgia they could have picked, they picked Dawson County, she said.
Trouble with the Curve opens in theaters nationwide Friday, Sept. 21.