City works to bring Hollywood to Augusta

The city of Augusta is working hard to bring more movie productions to the area.

The city of Augusta is working hard to bring more movie productions to the area.

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, Friday June 17, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga.---It's summertime, and that means blockbuster movies are coming out just about every weekend, and you might be surprised to learn, a handful of them were filmed in Georgia.

They feature parts of Atlanta, and Georgia's coast, now Augusta is working to get in on the action.

Over the last few years, dozens of television shows and big budget movies have decided to call Georgia home, in part thanks to the Georgia Camera Ready Program, but Augusta is still waiting on it's big break.

"That's the first class of X-men," says one of Carol March's daughter.

Carol and her daughters spend a lot of time at the movies during the summer. They would love to see Augusta on the big screen. "I just think that there's no limit to what can be accomplished here, but first of all you have to give us the opportunity," adds Carol.

Terri Powell is already out getting next month's Harry Potter tickets. "There's tons of places I think would be of interest in a movie. I'd take my family, we'd go watch," says Terri.

Summer blockbusters like "X-Men: First Class" and comedies like "The Change Up" were filmed in Atlanta and along Georgia's coast, but nothing here in the Garden City.

"There's a lot here that we have to offer we just haven't been successful lately in landing that big major production," says Jennifer Bowen, the Vice President of Product Development for the Augusta Conventions and Visitors Bureau.

Augusta's last major motion picture was "That Darn Cat," in 1997.

"It is about what do they need and what specifically are they looking for. We're actively really trying, saying we can do this, we can do that," adds Bowen.

Smaller metro cities, like Crawfordville have had a little more success with movies like "Get Low" and "Sweet Home Alabama."

"Even when it's a smaller scale, we still do benefit economically from that spending," says Bowen.

"The bad teacher, that might be funny," says Carol, looking at movie posters.

Carol and Terri both make arguments for Hollywood coming to Augusta. "I think that people would be surprised to find actually how much talent there is here in Augusta if we were given the opportunity," says Carol.

"We bring the Masters in here, so we're not small time, we host the biggest golf tournament in the world, we could do some movies," laughs Terri.

The Conventions and Visitors Bureau says they tried to get Augusta's old municipal building in the summer film "X-Men: First Class."

It would have served as an older "FBI" headquarters. But film-makers decided to go a different direction instead.

Georgia is in the top 5 states in the country in terms of film and TV production. One reason is because of several tax credits set up for companies. They can save up to 30 percent, 10 percent for just using Georgia's peach logo.

You may remember, one movie that would highlight Augusta would be a movie about one of its most famous sons, the Godfather of Soul James Brown.

Back in 2007, Director Spike Lee met with Danny Ray, James Brown's cape man and singer Derek Monk, who performed during Brown's funeral.

Before he died, News 12 talked with the Godfather about who should play him. He said he didn't have anyone in mind, but he did say they need to have soul.


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