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Blog : Scenery in Covington GA

#ForeverMysticFalls: Favorite Fan Photo Sites

The Vampire Diaries lives on in many hearts as one of the most captivating, dramatic, fun, and dynamic TV shows ever made. For the fans who remain invested even after the end of this series’ long run, Covington, Georgia, provides a multitude of opportunities to revisit their fondest memories of the series. From the atmosphere of the small, southern town that brings you back to the universe you fell in love with, to the shop to buy merch, and even a Mystic Falls Tour that allows you to step into specific locations you will remember from all those years of viewing the show, visitors love returning to Mystic Falls, here are a few of the best places to take fan photos during your trip to The Original Hollywood of the South.

  1. The Clock Tower

The Clock Tower, commonly known also as the Newton County Courthouse is the perfect place to take pictures. If you take the Mystic Falls Tour, this is one of the main stops, and is sure to bring back memories of several iconic scenes.

  1. The Gate of Worthington Manor

Also known as the Lockwood Mansion, this home served as a primary filming location in the Vampire Diaries. It is an original antebellum home and surrounded by a beautiful iron fence. Fans will recognize the lake in the back that served as the Gemini’s twins gateway for their coven, and was also a pivotal place for many intense scenes.

george lockwood the cat

  1. The Gilbert House

Pose for a pic in front of the Gilbert House, easily recognizable for even the most casual watchers of the show. It remained Elena’s home for most of the series.

vampire diaries film locations

4. Mystic Grill

Mystic Grill on the Covington Square, is the perfect place to grab a bite after a long day of touring and taking pictures. Instagram your order and share your meal with the world!

 

 

5. The Square

Just outside Mystic Grill is the charming Covington Square, with multiple places to sit and relax and a wonderful place to people watch. You’ll recognize many scenes from the show since the square was such a integral filming location.

Come tour these locations and take a bite out of our town!

An Inside Look into Duke’s of Hazzard’s Second Episode: “Daisy’s Song”

An Inside Look into Duke’s of Hazzard’s Second Episode: “Daisy’s Song”

Yee-haw! Boy, do we miss our Duke boys and their misadventures in Hazzard County, GA. Let’s reminisce about the first season’s second episode, “Daisy’s Song” from the Dukes of Hazzard.

 Daisy Duke has dreams of musical stardom, yet her dream is dimmed when the song she wrote is heard on the radio being sung by a sound a like of Jessi Colter. It turns out thing is a huge scam! Big mistake to wrong Daisy Duke, especially when she gets her cousins involved.

Bo and Luke head to the big city of Atlanta to get to the bottom of the situation, only to find out that Boss Hogg is involved in the con. In addition, the recording studio is a front for a music piracy operation, which Boss is trying to use to build some connections to the Syndicate.

Ahh…nothing like seeing the General Lee heading into Atlanta; what a sight!

The boys hatch a scheme to catch the record pirates red-handed by having Daisy pretend to be a potential client and trick the ringleader, Leslie Starr, into believing she can imitate a number of real-life artists.

Of course, Bo and Luke crush the operation and save Daisy’s song. It also turns out that the boys have arranged for Jessi Colter to actually record Daisy’ song.

Cool Fact: We learn why the boys climb through the windows of the General Lee. The doors are wielded shut.

Until next time Duke fans!

Why You Need to Watch Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love this Christmas Season

Why You Need to Watch Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love this Christmas Season

Did you watch Dolly Parton’s, Christmas of Many Colors last year? Don’t fret. NBC will be showing this highly popular movie again on December 27th. With its groundbreaking success last year, NBC decided to show this film again. Dolly Parton even confirmed the exciting news Wednesday afternoon. Grab your loved ones and the hot cocoa for this special screening of Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.

behind the scenes

This inspiring film centers on Dolly’s Christmas in 1955. Covington locals were delighted to have film crews come back for the sequel of Coat of Many Colors. This sequel displays the struggles and triumphs the Parton family went through during a cold, brutal winter in Sevier County, Tennessee.

Family patriarch, Lee Parton made sacrifices to have enough money to buy Avie Lee a wedding ring that he could never afford to give to her. Even the children sacrificed their own Christmas presents to help their father give this special gift.

behind the scenes

The family’s faith is tested during this Christmas season. Yet, little Dolly shines in this story. She performs with her guitar around the downtown square (the Covington square) to make money for her mother’s Christmas gift. Her spitfire attitude and sassy remarks create comedic relief, especially during the emotional scenes.

Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love will make you laugh and ball like a baby. The take away from this film is to never give up on the most treasured things in life such as, family, friends, and even your faith.

Tune in next Wednesday night to watch this Christmas classic!

 

Dixie Manor Used as Rebekah Mikaelson’s House in TVD

Dixie Manor Used as Rebekah Mikaelson’s House in TVD

It’s no secret that Covington, Ga is the real Mystic Falls. People travel from all over to visit Covington to see where The Vampire Diaries was filmed and take memorable pictures. I bet you didn’t realize that in several episodes Dixie Manor was used as Rebekah Mikaelson’s Mansion. If you did know that, then kudos to you!

If you’re not a die-hard TVD fan, it is okay! We will go over some background information to catch you up. Rebekah Mikaelson is one of the five Original Vampires who is featured in multiple seasons. She is also one of the main characters in the spin off series, The Originals. Her brother, Klaus, constantly influences her actions. She desires to live a normal human life, instead of being immortal.

Dixie Manor was first seen as Rebekah’s house in episode three, “The Rager”, of season four when Rebekah decided to move out of Klaus’s mansion after a very heated argument. She couldn’t stand to live with her brother any longer so she decided to get her own mansion. In this same episode, Rebekah throws a party for herself and other students, who attend Mystic Falls High School. Rebekah only throws this party to help her not feel alone anymore.

Dixie Manor is also seen in season four episode eleven “Catch Me if You Can.” Looking for a new ally, Rebekah reminds Stefan of how close they once were. One thing leads to another and they end up having a steamy love connection in one of the bedrooms of the mansion. I guess Stefan is over Elena, after all.

Despite all the fighting that has been going on between Elena and Rebekah during season four, Rebekah offers a truce to Elena because she feels bad that Jeremy died. Elena turns her humanity off due to her grief and ends up living with Rebekah in her home for a brief time in season four episode nineteen, “Pictures of You.”

 

From Podcast to Production: Stream the Amazon Series Lore

From Podcast to Production: Stream the Amazon Series Lore

Have you had the chance to stream the incredible Amazon series, Lore? Based on the popular podcast, this Amazon original series uncovers the real-life events that spawned our darkest nightmares. With just six 40 minute episodes, you can binge watch this series quickly!

Lore follows the podcasts anthology format with each episode featuring a new story. The series combines documentary footage and cinematic scenes to reveal horror legends and their origins. Lore gives us more insight on the monsters we thought we knew. The freaky tales might give you nightmares, so beware.

Critics and fans praised Lore! We can honestly ALL agree on the fact that we wanted more episodes than just six. However, audiences still can enjoy re-watching these episodes and if they want more, they can even listen to the podcast series.

You know what is even better? Three of the episodes of Lore were filmed in Newton County. These certain episodes featured filming locations used from other TV shows and movies filmed in Newton County. For example, in the episode “They Made a Tonic” audiences will notice the same cemetery used in the extremely popular show, The Vampire Diaries.

If you are into werewolves, then watch the fifth episode, “The Beast Within.” This episode was filmed entirely in Porterdale, Ga. This episode even scared me, especially the opening scene! Werewolves may be movie monsters today, yet in 1589, villagers in Bedburg, Germany were convinced that they were plagued by a werewolf. Watch the episode to find out if this is true…

Anyone interested or intrigued by the origins of medical methods for mental illness should watch “Echoes.” Dr. Walter Freeman is known as the father of the icepick lobotomy. He had good intentions to help put an end to all mental hospitals, but it wound up creating an entirely new kind of horror story. This episode will make you cringe, for sure!

Werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and body snatchers…oh my! Stream Lore to learn more about different folklores we have all known and heard throughout the ages.

An Inside Look at the First Episode of Dukes of Hazzard: One Armed Bandits

 

“Welcome to Hazzard County!”

Who misses following the action-packed adventures of Bo and Luke Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard? We sure do! Since the very first episode, “One Armed Bandits,” audiences fell madly in love with these country boys and their heart-racing car chasing scenes. Even though this idolized show has ended, we can still reflect on the hilarious moments together. Especially to take a gander at the famous classic orange 1969 Dodge Charger nicknamed, “The General Lee.”

 

 

The Dukes of Hazzard’s pilot episode “One Armed Bandits,” opens to cousins Bo, Luke and Daisy Duke chasing down Sheriff Rosco Coltrane’s patrol car. Little did they know that Cooter Davenport had stolen the Sheriff’s vehicle. Plot twist! He wrecks the patrol car and they all discover the Sheriff’s car is full of illegal slot machines. Cooter explains to Bo and Luke that Rosco is bringing the illegal slots into Hazzard County to fund his re-election.

Some Duke fans may spot a familiar face in this pilot episode-Dennis Haskins, who played the part of Moss. Most people know him as Bayside’s beloved principal from Saved by the Bell. He was also, featured in other episodes in different roles.

Bo and Luke devise a plan to hijack a truckload of the illegal slot machines heading to Hazzard County and use the proceeds to donate to the local orphanage. Now you may think, “Good, they’re messing up Rosco’s chance for re-election!” but that’s not quite what happens…they actually donate the proceeds in his name to ensure his re-election and stop the corrupt opponent.

Good ole, Rosco tries to nail the boys and their pretty cousin Daisy for stealing his slots, but he was too late. The proceeds were already in the orphanage bank account. To make matters worse…or better…they donated the funds in his name, thus securing his re-election. Talk about some major brownie points for that ole dirty rascal…I mean…Rosco!

The Duke boys were with us in Covington Georgia for seven seasons and we all wished they stayed with us longer. It’s a good thing that they will be a little bit closer to us than you think. The Hollywood of the South TV & Film Museum [the very first in Georgia] will be adding a part from the Dukes of Hazzard series very soon. So, y’all don’t need to fret! What an amazing tribute to this Southern classic TV series. Stay tuned…

From Podcast to Production: Folklore Depicted on Amazon’s Lore – Part Two

From Podcast to Production: Folklore Depicted on Amazon’s Lore – Part Two

In the last blog, we discussed the very first episode of Amazon’s Lore. This series that is based on folklore is perfect for a Halloween binge watch. Every episode of Lore is based on real people and events. Did you know that there are two more episodes of this series that was filmed in Newton County?

In the second episode of Amazon’s Lore, Echoes, we find ourselves viewing a disturbing scene. Dr. Walter Freeman is the father of the icepick lobotomy and the center of this episode. He believed that the ten-minute procedure of using the icepick lobotomy would end the need for people going to a mental hospital.

Freeman is obsessed throughout this episode with this procedure, yet it ends up backfiring. The audience gets a taste of how mental health patients were treated in the doctor’s offices and in society. The barbaric methods, like the icepick lobotomy used to “cure” the mentally ill are frightening and cruel.

Dr. Freeman’s office in Echoes was actually an upstairs bedroom of the Welanuee hotel in Porterdale, GA.

The next episode of Amazon’s Lore that was filmed in Newton County is the fifth episode, The Beast Within. Yes, this is the werewolf episode!

The oldest werewolf legend dates back to about 2,000 years ago. The one story that this episode sheds a light on is the famous fairytale story, Red Riding Hood. Greta plays “Red Riding Hood” and lives with her father in Bedburg, Germany. She is attacked by a wolf as a young girl, but defeats it by piercing its’ paw.

She was the only one who escaped the wolf. Years later, the town is still plagued by the wolf. The townspeople become fearful that they will never catch the wolf. One evening, the wolf attacks two people and enrages the townspeople. Greta’s father and the other men go hunt the beast. Greta is left with the town’s leader, Peter Stubbe for her protection. Little does she know that he is the beast, himself…

 This episode is set in Germany in the 16th century and the German town was none other than our local historic Porterdale, GA. The Welanuee hotel was used for this German town.

Stream Amazon’s Lore tonight and stay in for a spooky adventure! Who knows..it might scare you more than you think. Also, check out more of our blogs!

From Podcast to Production: Real Folklore Depicted on Amazon’s Lore-Part One

From Podcast to Production: Real Folklore Depicted on Amazon’s Lore-Part One

In our previous blogs about Amazon’s Lore, we have discussed this highly anticipated series release with teasers. Now that this series is finally streaming on Amazon, can you spot some familiar sites in the very first episode?

In this episode, They Made A Tonic, we are introduced to George Brown of Rhode Island in 1882. George suffers tragic losses of his eldest daughter and his wife from “consumption”(known today as Tuberculosis).

Starsville plantation is the location that was used in this episode in the beginning. Look closely at the scene where George and his son, Edwin are talking. The Starsville plantation house can be seen in this scene from a distance.

Throughout this episode of Amazon’s Lore, George Brown tries save his only son from this deadly disease after his youngest daughter passes away from consumption as well. He begins to believe that a demon has taken over his dead wife and two daughters.

He and some other men decide to disturb their resting places so they can find out who has become apart of the undead. After they dug up Mercy Brown’s grave they observed that her body looked like it was still alive. The way she looked with fresh blood around her mouth speculated rumors that she was a “vampire.”

Did y’all notice that this episode of Amazon’s Lore featured the same headstones used in The Vampire Diaries?

The headstones are shown later on in the episode when the men dig up the graves of his wife and two daughter’s graves.

This episode of Amazon’s Lore discusses the beliefs of people during that time period. Ever heard of the term “saved by the bell” or of Dracula?

“Saved by the bell” started due to people being buried alive on accident, according to the Amazon’s Lore narrator. When Tuberculosis began to wreak havoc in New England during the 19th century, people were being mistaken “dead” and buried. If these people were alive, they could ring the bell that was placed in the coffin with them to be saved.

Amazon’s Lore, revealed at the end of the first episode that the story of George Brown ended up becoming one of the inspirations for Bram Strokers legendary novel, Dracula.

 Stay tuned for another blog about TWO other episodes of Amazon’s Lore that were filmed in Newton County too….

 

 

Jason Lives— Another Friday the 13th in the Hollywood of the South

It’s Friday the 13th again! Do you suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia? It’s the fear of this much-dreaded date. But this spooky and superstitious day is a cause for celebration in Covington, Georgia, otherwise known as the original Hollywood of the South®.

Covington/Newton County, Georgia is quite accustomed to the supernatural. This small-town film hub has welcomed a variety of horror productions to shoot in the area throughout the years, both for cable television and film studios. Not only is Covington a historic town filled with actual ghost stories and sightings, but Hollywood’s undead seem to be drawn to the community as well!

friday the 13th
Behind-the-Scenes Photo via Friday the 13th Franchise website

In 1985, our area welcomed the production of Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives as they filmed scenes in local wooded areas and shot nearby Hard Labor Creek as Camp Crystal Lake. The location at Hard Labor Creek is also a State Park offering camp sites and cabins, two lakes, a golf course, and a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, and more. This site is the perfect camping getaway at the real “Crystal Lake” for fans of the Jason franchise…if you dare!

And here’s a little Jason film trivia we found, just in time for Friday the 13th. Did you know that the undead main character, Jason Voorhees, was originally supposed to be named Josh? However, before the first film in the franchise began shooting, the name was changed to Jason.

For those who haven’t noticed, Jason’s character also continues to get taller with each sequel. Hollywood had to adapt the character to make him seem menacing, even with the size of the average man growing throughout the decades. These days, it’s not necessarily uncommon to pass a man as tall at 6ft walking down the street. The franchise began with Ari Lehman as the first Jason in Friday the 13th at 5ft 11in. By the time the Jason anthology reached the sixth sequel, filmed in Newton County, the actor who portrayed the undead serial killer was C.J. Graham at a staggering 6ft 3in. The latest actor to take on this role was Derek Mears in the 2009 reboot of Friday the 13th. Mears is 6ft 5in.

friday the 13th

The folklore behind Friday the 13th is interesting, due to the fact that the stories surrounding this famously unlucky day are all superstition. Century-old records make claims that the number 13 itself is unholy, and many Friday the 13th’s throughout history have seen truly horrific acts. Some of these Friday the 13th incidents include the bombing of Buckingham Palace on Friday, September 13th, 1940, A Chilean Air Force plane mysteriously disappearing in the Andes on Friday October 13th, 1972, and Tupac Shakur dying of his gunshot wounds on Friday, September 13th, 1996.

In 1976, New Yorker Daz Baxter was so terrified of Friday the 13th that he stayed in bed all day. Unfortunately, the floor of the apartment block collapsed that day, killing Mr. Baxter. However, tragic and unexplainable things happen around the world every day. So does this necessarily mean that the day itself is cursed?

This brings us to a very special and long-awaited announcement. Speaking of folklore, this day is also especially exciting to us in Newton County because today, Amazon Prime just released the entire first season of their new series, Lore. This new Amazon original series is based on the popular podcast by the same name, and filmed various episodes in Newton County as well. The Lore podcast series by Aaron Mahnke explores folklore behind supernatural beings and superstitions like vampires, possessed dolls, changelings, and more. This Amazon series is sure to be just as captivating, and we couldn’t think of a day more perfect than Friday the 13th to begin streaming!

So instead of hiding in bed all day, embrace this superstitious date and enjoy a little local film lore with us. Connect with us on social media and tell us which supernatural shows or films you’ll be watching, or how you’ll be getting through this unlucky day!

Economic Impact of Film Tourism in Newton County, Georgia

According to FilmL.A., Georgia is now recognized as the #1 filming location in the world.  The great tax incentives and dynamic landscapes have made the choice simple for production crews, and the economic impact on the state and camera-ready communities has paid off greatly. In 2016, Georgia’s tourism impact generated $61.1 billion in revenue and supported over 450,000 jobs!

In the last year, 320 productions have migrated to Georgia to shoot in various locations. Of these 320 productions, more than 10 have filmed in Covington and Newton County, Georgia, one of the first camera-ready communities in the state. However, the economic impact of film in our area relies on more than just these recent productions.

economic impact of film

Because Covington was shot on-location for popular TV series’ such as the Dukes of Hazzard, In the Heat of the Night, and The Vampire Diaries, fans visit the town frequently to step into the real-life set and backlot city that they know and love. “We love having a television show scout our area because of the longevity a series offers. Because they usually run for several seasons, fans will always want to visit the filming locations of their favorite TV shows,” says Newton County Tourism Director and Film Commissioner, Jenny McDonald. In fact, direct spending from tourists in Covington/Newton County increased by $60 million from 2002 to 2012! And the film legacy in Newton County has only continued to grow since then.

Covington is home to some of the most prominent locations used on-set of the CW’s The Vampire Diaries. Because the series grew in popularity throughout its eight seasons on the air, the volume of vampire fans and tourists visiting the area increased with every season. Over the past few years, the historic town square has welcomed a handful of trendy new restaurants and boutiques for both locals and tourists to enjoy.

economic impact of film

Additionally, Newton County offers a series of tours for guests to enjoy when they visit the area, especially for film tourism. Visitors can choose among self-guided location tours to see historic homes and sites from many local productions, on-location tours with Vampire Stalkers/Mystic Falls Tours, as well as Covington Ghost Tours for local, historic hauntings.

The Georgia Office of Tourism and Economic Development helped the Covington/Newton County Visitor’s Bureau develop the Undead Trail, along with partnering cities,  which makes a necessary pit-stop in our community. Offering tours to our many visitors from all over the world is not only a great experience for our tourists, but also benefits the local economy. During last year’s Vampire Diaries Series Finale Party, over $2500 was raised for the county in just 3 hours from offering tours of the historic courthouse and clocktower.

economic impact of film
Visitors wait in line for attractions during the Friday Night Bites event in 2016

In 2016, tourism in Newton County generated a whopping $129.02 million in direct tourist spending, which was an increase of over $3 million dollars from 2015! The economic impact of film tourism last year also supported local payroll in excess of $23 million, and generated $3.70 million in local tax revenues. Not to mention, Newton County residents saw a significant tax break per household as a result of taxes generated by tourism economic activity.

We are interested to see how the local economic impact of film will be affected once the new Three Ring Studios opens in Covington. This studio will have three campuses and a soundstage for TV, film, and video game production, as well as an awesome backlot for production. These three campuses are currently under development, and the studio is sure to bring a host of new opportunities with it! Once Three Ring Studios is open for business, film capabilities in our community will expand from on-location shooting to whatever a director needs to complete his/her creative vision for a production. To learn more about the current development of this new production studio, follow Three Ring Studios on Facebook and Twitter.