Hollywood returns to Northeast Georgia, as Sony Pictures is in the Dahlonega square this week to work on a TV production, “Hail Mary.”
Crews are in town Monday and Tuesday preparing for the filming, which could start early Wednesday and wrap up Thursday, said David Zunker, tourism director of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber and Visitors Bureau.
“Part of our downtown square will be cordoned off, but shops will still be open,” he said.
IMDb.com describes “Hail Mary” as a TV movie about a small-town mayor who “orchestrates an elaborate miracle hoax in an attempt to save her crumbling town from ruin.”
The mayor, portrayed by Casey Wilson, “goes to extreme lengths to prevent her deception from being exposed,” IMDb.com states. Wilson has had parts in such movies as “Gone Girl,” “Julie & Julia” and “Bride Wars.”
“They’ll be doing a festival scene first thing (Wednesday) and then other types of shooting throughout the day and … Thursday,” Zunker said.
He said other scenes are being shot in Conyers.
A location scout for the production first visited Dahlonega about three weeks ago.
“I took her around and we looked at second-story (spaces) they could renovate for an apartment that would overlook the square, and we found a few things that would work very nicely for them,” Zunker said.
The film’s director, producer and others later visited.
“What we’re excited about is the number of people who are going to be here for this production,” Zunker said. “We’re filling rooms at our area hotels for mid-week at the end of March, which is really exciting for us.
“It’s good for our local economy, for sure.”
Unlike the town portrayed in the production, Dahlonega is a booming tourist town.
“To have this (filming) on the weekend would be a bit more challenging,” Zunker said.