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Independent zombie flick films at historic jail
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Dawson County's Historic Jail will serve as the backdrop for an independent movie being filmed in mid-June.

Writer and producer Jeffery Bucchino said crews will be in Dawsonville the weekend of June 11-12 to shoot scenes for Cellblock Z, which chronicles the lives of two inmates who wake up to find the zombie apocalypse has erupted outside their prison cell.

"I was reading a book on zombies and had this idea about what if you were stuck in your prison cell while the zombie apocalypse broke out, and you just wake up one morning and the entire cell block right outside your bars is filled with zombies," he said last week. "What would you do then? What would come about from that type of scenario?"

So with contacts he made over the years working on independent films, as an extra in a number of movies and on the small stage in community theatre, Bucchino set out to create Cellblock Z.

With the entire story taking place in one location, the historic jail in downtown Dawsonville proved to be the ideal filming locale.

"We've been about a year in preproduction, because we had a little bit of trouble getting finances just to buy all the costumes we needed and to buy all the props," he said. "Now we've finally got that. That was the hardest part. Finding the location was the easiest."

Bucchino worked with the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce to scout the location.

President Christie Haynes serves as the county's Camera Ready liaison.

She said Dawson County welcomes Georgia's bourgeoning film industry to the area.

"Our office has experienced an increase in filming location requests over the past few months," she said. "Scouts and independent filmmakers are recognizing Dawson County as a prime location for shooting.

We are excited to work with projects of all sizes and look forward to seeing familiar places in coming films."

Locales in Dawson County have been the backdrop for movies over the last several years, beginning with Clint Eastwood's Trouble with the Curve in 2012.

Much of the movie, which also featured Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams, was filmed at Amicalola Lodge inside the Dawsonville city limits.

A year later scouts with the Hunger Games chose the western Dawson tract land to shoot for its third and fourth installments.

Most recently, scenes for Walk in the Woods, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, were filmed at Amicalola Falls State Park. An adaptation of Bill Bryson's memoir, the movie chronicles his hike of the Appalachian Trail, which starts near the top of the falls.

Deemed as the "Hollywood of the South," Georgia has been one of the country's leading locations for film production for a several years, thanks in part to state tax breaks and other incentives.