“They rented a Main Street storefront that had just become vacant, so they rented it from the owner and then completely transformed the interior to make it look like a law office, and that’s where they filmed those scenes,” East Point Economic Development Director Jennifer Fine said.
Director Tyler Perry, who has a film studio in southwest Atlanta, has done some filming in East Point, and last week the popular television show Vampire Diaries was filming in town.
“We’ve had a couple of TV show pilots film just one- or two-day shoots,” Fine said.
The city is part of Georgia’s camera ready program, which connects counties and municipalities with film and TV productions.
East Point has its own connections, as well.
“The state location manager is a resident and several location scouts are residents who we’ve become friends with and are familiar with,” Fine said. “We make a point to stay in contact with them to let them know what we have available.”
On top of that, Georgia offers tax incentives for production companies.
“Georgia in general and metro Atlanta has a really strong film program because of the statewide tax incentive,” Fine said.
The economic development department also works to make permitting processes smooth for production companies if they are renting a city owned building or require road closures.
“We try to make it easy and provide one-on-one staff support for them, so I think that’s helped,” Fine said of continuing to attracting production companies.
She said the department acts as a conduit between the companies and city agencies needed during production.
“We would help them get involved or in contact with the police department, and the police department in turn handles everything that has to do with the public safety side and traffic control,” Fine said.
Also, she said her department helps locate sites and properties for the production companies if requested.
While Fine said it’s not a massive economic boost to have companies film only a few days in East Point, it’s putting the city on the map and hopefully helping form a good reputation as a sterling place to film.