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Film Production in Pickens County Economic Blockbuster or Flop?

By Gerry Nechvatal

Pickens County Economic Development Director

     By now it is no secret to most that the new Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake, and Amy Adams movie Trouble with the Curve will be filming a scene at a Jasper location in April. And while this is very exciting, it has sparked some debate about the impact it will have on the community from an economic standpoint.

Taken as a singular occurrence the value may be relatively small, as is any two day event or festival, but the objective is not to just have this be a one time event.

Georgia has created a very favorable business environment for entertainment productions as well as established programs such as “Camera Ready” through the Georgia Department of Economic Development in order to recruit these types of opportunities to the State.

     These efforts have been very successful as recently documented in a trade industry publication ranking Georgia #3 in top places to film, coming in only behind California and Connecticut. Upcoming releases filmed in Georgia include Joyful Noise, Jayne Mansfield’s Car and What to Expect When You’re Expecting. The list of actors is impressive with big name stars such as Dolly Parton, Robert Duval, Kevin Bacon, Cameron Diaz, and Jennifer Lopez.

     Not wanting to overlook any potential avenue to increase economic activity in Pickens County as well as to support the Georgia Department of Economic Development, we chose to participate early in the Camera Ready program and as a result the community has been scouted for several films.

     The State helicopter landed in Talking Rock last summer with the Director and Crew scouting a location to film a new version of The Great Locomotive Chase, and in addition, a location in the county was one of the finalists for the upcoming “Dirty Dancing” remake. We were selected and several articles have appeared in the Progress about the scenes filmed by emerging movie companies in numerous locations throughout Jasper and Pickens County.

     So what will result from Trouble with the Curve?

     Aside from Jasper being promoted through talk on Atlanta radio and being listed as a location on the Internet Movie Data Base (, much may be determined by the experience of the production company and the actors.

     During the scouting and the location preparation we have worked hard to make their experiences very positive and hassle-free so that within the entertainment industry the reputation of Jasper and Pickens County is that it is a great place to make movies. On the upcoming filming dates it is vital for all members of the community to do their part to insure the same.

     If you want to someday meet a star, help make sure their experience is one they wish to repeat, not forget, so that the future of film here is an economic blockbuster, not a flop.