This summer, there are almost sure to be a few star sightings in Hall County and around Lake Lanier.
Stacey Dickson, president of the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitor Bureau and a Georgia Camera Ready liaison, said a new movie, “Blended,” starring a few Hollywood icons is set to film in the area beginning in July.
Dickson said, “It’s no big secret” that the movie is starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler, Terry Crews, Joel McHale and Kevin Nealon.
“It’s safe to say that star watchers who are on the lookout will surely see some celebs on Lake Lanier this summer,” Dickson said.
The movie follows two single parents after a “horrible blind date.” The couple end up purchasing a discount family vacation from a mutual friend with their children in tow.
The film is produced by Sandler’s Happy Maddison Productions, Gulfstream Pictures and Warner Bros.
“Blended” is set to play in theaters in May 2014.
Dickson said the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act is to thank for drawing this and other productions to Hall County and North Georgia.
The act was passed in 2008 to support makers of games and digital media.
Production companies can save up to 30 percent in tax credits through the act.
The Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office also helps encourage the industry by training counties to be Camera Ready.
Hall County was among the first to attain that designation when the program was launched in 2010.
A Camera Ready liaison helps production crews acquire necessary local permits, find lodging for cast and crew and scout locations for filming.
Dickson said locations for the film have been found and contracts have been signed. The movie will be filmed for about 50 days in Hall County.
Jeff Ace, treasurer of the Four Seasons on Lanier homeowners association, said the group was contacted by the location scouts about its baseball field six weeks ago.
“Their criteria was a ‘rural Little League baseball field,’” Ace said. “And they liked our setting with trees on three sides of (our) ballfield.”
The production company will be making a few improvements to the field for filming purposes but those improvements will be maintained after filming.
“They estimate spending $30,000 to $40,000 on improvements,” Ace said. “We plan on maintaining the field in top condition after they leave.”
Dickson said film productions often have a positive impact on the local economy.
While the crews often purchase certain supplies, utilities and foods locally, there are also sometimes job opportunities.
Dickson said casting directors are currently casting extras for the film.
Tammy Smith of Tammy Smith Casting of Atlanta said extras for Little League games are still needed. Extras for a couples massage scene have already been hired as well as a stand-in for Sandler, she said this morning.
Those interested can visit the website for Tammy Smith Casting of Atlanta.