UPDATE | Augusta Film Office member talks about latest film to come to Augusta

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News 12 NBC 26 News At 11 | Wednesday, March 8, 2017

UPDATE | 11:45 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The scene is set as another Hollywood movie production sets its sights on Augusta.

The movie "Hollywood Dirt," based on New York Times best-selling author Alessandra Torre's romance novel, will be filmed here and in Madison, Georgia. One official says Augusta's history in film and some good word-of-mouth helped bring the bright lights back to the Garden City.

Mark Crump's phone has been ringing non-stop since announcing Hollywood is coming back to Augusta. The board member of Augusta Film Office says they've had their eye on this film for awhile now.

"With Hollywood Dirt, that was something that was brought to us back in December," Crump says. "We did the initial scout and now here we are three months later making a movie. So we are really happy about that."

Crump, one of the associate producers for the film, says landing this movie was all about word-of-mouth between the folks behind this movie and a certain unit production manager.

"That's the same one actually that we had, Kevin Welch, we had him for The Reason and on Savannah Sunrise when we did the last two movies," Crump says. "And he said, 'You know what? You need to shoot in Augusta. They have everything you need, they've got the facilities, they've got the capabilities, the crew. So you should go to Augusta.'"

This will be the first film to be shot in Augusta for the film's director, but also for the studio behind the movie - Passionflix. They launched a website this year, looking to be the "Netflix for Women" with more romance movies.

The film stars Emma Rigby from "Once Upon A Time in Wonderland" and Johann Urb from "Resident Evil." You'll also see a few familiar faces from the Young and the Restless and Facts of Life.

"Their first assistant director, their second AD, they're coming in brand new. Their unit production manager has never been here," Crump says. "They are all out of LA. We want them all to go back to LA and say hey, Augusta is a fantastic place to shoot. Let's bring more movies here."

Crump says that hope of bringing more movies here makes those long days and sleepless nights worth it.

"All of us here that are working at the Augusta film office and that are working on this film and try to bring this here," Crump says, "we do it because we love it and we wouldn't want to work at any other job."

Crump says they have another week of pre-production here before they begin actually shooting the film a week from today. They'll then film for ten days in Madison, Georgia before finishing in Los Angeles.

The Augusta Film Office expects to have more than sixty percent of their crew to be made up of locals looking to help out, but there's still time for extras who want to be a part of the film to sign up.

A release states, "Anyone wishing to get involved in the burgeoning film industry in Augusta should contact the Augusta Film Office at www.augustafilmoffice.com, or find the "Southeasternfilmakers" page on for more information."


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Augusta Film Office (AFO) announced Wednesday that they have secured another film to shoot in the Augusta area, an adaptation based on New York Times Best Selling author, Alessandra Torre’s book “Hollywood Dirt”.

According to the Augusta Film Office, pre-production is in full swing, and Principal Photography will start on March 15 for 8 days before the production moves to Madison, Georgia on March 24.

The film is the first of many for veteran Producer/Director/Writer team Jina Panebianco, Tosca Musk and Joany Kane. Hollywood Dirt, will be the first to premiere in the line-up of their slate launching in September 2017 on the newly founded digital platform Passionflix.

“We had this vision of fulfilling a need for the millions of women across the world (ourselves included) to see their favorite romance novels turned into movies and series. Our mandate is simple: love, passion, romance and happy endings. There is not enough of that in filmmaking today” says Panebianco.

The underlying message of Passionflix is to empower women through emotional strength. Hollywood Dirt is pulling in many L.A. film veterans to the area who will be rounded out by more than 60% local crew for the duration of the shoot. The film stars Emma Rigby (Once Upon A Time in Wonderland) and Johann Urb (Resident Evil), alongside Marco Dapper (Young and The Restless) and Mindy Cohn (Facts of Life) to name but a few, which help bring this array of colorful characters to life.

The producers for Hollywood Dirt started scouting in the Augusta area in December 2016 and with the help of the AFO locked everything down in early 2017 for production to take place this March.

Musk told the Augusta Film Office: “We are super happy to be in Augusta. The reception by the AFO has been extremely welcoming and I’m thrilled by the amount of local support that ultimately adds incredible production value.”

During the 8 days of shooting, 3 will be at the Augusta Film Office’s sound stage where construction has begun on the sets. 5 additional days will be in and around Augusta. The remainder of the film will be shot in Madison and Los Angeles throughout the 20 day shoot, according to the Augusta Film Office.

The Augusta Regional Film Office, 1644 Gordon Highway, Augusta GA 30906

Anyone wishing to get involved in the burgeoning film industry in Augusta should contact the Augusta Film Office at www.augustafilmoffice.com, or find the southeasternfilmakers page on Facebook for more information.