Maybe you’re not ready for your big on-screen debut but your house could be.
The bustling Georgia film industry is always searching for new film locations and could be scouting for the look of your specific property.
Craig Dominey, creator and manager of the State of Georgia’s Camera Ready Program, and Hall County Camera Ready Liaison Stacey Dickson spoke to the nonprofit WomenSource at its meeting Thursday about the opportunities for property owners to become involved in the industry.
Dominey spoke to the group about the various films that have been made in the state. Georgia is also an attractive location for Hollywood filmmakers because of a 30 percent tax incentive that began in 2008.
In 2013, 142 major productions were filmed in the state, several of which were shot in Hall County.
“Blended,” starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, filmed this summer in a home on Green Street Circle in Gainesville. It is set to be released May 23. Scenes from the action-movie “Sabotage” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which will be released April 11, were filmed on location at Little Hall Park and the private residence of Mike Briggs.
The search for a movie location begins when film scouts contact Dominey’s office seeking a specific setting.
“Typically the way it happens is I’ll get a screenplay or a treatment for something from a film producer that is interested in shooting here,” Dominey said. “Then I’ll look through it and try to put together a photo package (of locations).”
Finding photos of locations is made easier through Reel-Scout, a photographic location database managed by the Georgia Film Office.
Private and commercial property owners who are interested in listing their property in the database can begin the process by visiting www.discoverlakelanier.com/cameraready and clicking on the link for the “Reel Scout Location Form.”
Dickson encouraged property owners to think outside the box of what they feel is a “picturesque” location.
“Some of the categories we’re looking for are agricultural, bars, cemeteries, churches and of course, private residential homes,” Dickson said. “But also things like funeral homes, gas stations, medical offices, parks, military facilities or beautiful landscapes. You could have a very nice view of the scenic Blue Ridge foothills that could be a location possibly. Also restaurants, schools, sporting venues, or it could be a scenic street. Or a street that you’re aware of that’s not particularly scenic because the film companies are not always looking for the Chamber of Commerce photograph.”
Dominey said it’s not difficult to take location photos if you understand the task film scouts are facing in their search.
Dominey said it’s important to take several wide photos of both the interior and exterior of a building. If the location is on a street corner, try to include both sides in the shot.
“The film scout wants to see more panoramic shots,” Dominey said. “They’re thinking about shots that might have to take place up on a crane.”
Production companies have widely varying budgets for shooting at specific locations, but property owners could be compensated by an amount ranging from very little to thousands of dollars, Dominey said.
Briggs used the compensation provided by Brentwood Productions for his home to make a donation to the Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types Inc. of which he serves as president.
Briggs said the experience was positive but did come with a few stressful moments. Like the time the crew tracked mud through the house and the time a hole was punched through a painting.
“The movie people, basically, whatever problems they caused in terms of damage to the house, they repaired it as good or better than when they found it,” Briggs said.