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FootLoose Filmed in Covington

FootLoose (2011) is a modernization of the classic 1984 film that goes by the same name. The updated version was directed by Craig Brewer and stars Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, and Dennis Quaid. Looking to keep the small-town vibe of the original, the production was initially planned to be filmed in Tennessee; however Georgia’s southern charm and filming in continues brouught to the to Covington. The story follows Ren McCormack a newcomer to Bomont, Georgia, who discovers that the town has banned music and dancing as a result of a previous traffic accident that lead to the death of several teenagers who were attending a party.

While the filming took place all over Georgia from Kennesaw to Franklin, The Hollywood of the South ,aka Covington, found itself as a location for a pivotal scene. The town hall meeting scene in the movie was filmed in our Historical Newton County courthouse, which sits on the northwest side of Covington square. Footloose is just one of over 100 film and television productions that have utilized Newton County and Covington. Come visit Hollywood of the South this summer!

 

Dukes of Hazzard Film Locations at Oxford College

Newton County has an extensive history in the film industry and perhaps its first notable entry is the TV Series The Dukes of Hazard by Gy Waldron. Waldron directed a film called Moonrunners in 1975 which had a similar premise and inspired him to go on and create Dukes of Hazard. The TV series focused on two cousins, Bo and Luke Duke, who lived in the fictional rural area of Georgia known as Hazzard County, Oxford College, not surprisingly, provided a few great filming locales for the now iconic television show.

The first location that Oxford College provided was Seney Hall. This is probably one of the most recognizable buildings at the college and it was featured in the opening credits of almost every episode. This is where the General Lee made its very first jump on November 11th 1978. The jump distance was 81 feet.

In a scene from ‘One Armed Bandits’ you can see the same tree (above) where the “Honest John Ledbetter” poster was put up. This is in front of Candler Hall at Oxford College. Not the tennis court in the background- is still there. Dukes also used the inside of Candler Hall for filming. Chandler Hall was used as the Civic & Fraternal Club, and also in the scenes where Boss Hogg and Rosco overlooked the room with the slot machines (below).

The Dukes of Hazzard had a seven-season run from 1979-1985 and , although only the first five episodes where shot here, made a huge impact on Film Tourism for Covington/Newton County. If you find yourself in Oxford and are a fan of the series make sure to check out these sights. You will feel as if you were in “in original” Hazzard County with Bo and Lu

Filmed in Covington: Madea’s Family Reunion

Being The Original Hollywood of the South R, we are proud to have so many film productions choose Covington and with Georgia being  the number one filming state in thr country, there seems to be no end in sight! Some of the most popular films that chose are Remember The Titans, Sweet Home Alabama and My Cousin Vinny. But did you know that Tyler Perry filmed some of Madea’s Family Reunion in our town? They even have their own paver on our famous Walk of Stars. 

 

Madea’s Family Reunion is just one of the many of the popular Tyler Perry productions in the Madea series. In Madea’s Family Reunion an outspoken grandmother plans her family reunion as she tries to solve her family’s personal dramas. As a writer and director, Perry alongside Blair Underwood and Lynn Whitfield. Almost all Perry’s television and film productions have a strong Georgia presence and focus. He saw (and featured) the beauty of Covington in this movie.  

 

Gaither Plantation was used as the family home and reunion segement in the film. In many scenes, you can recognize the 159-year-old cotton plantation. Gaither Planation is one of the few remaining examples of mid- 19thcentury farms in north Georgia. The plantation is comprised of a plantation house, a log smokehouse, a hay barn and two 19th century cemeteries. 

If you would like to tour Gaither Planation they have tours available by appointment on their website.  If you are interested in self-guided tours visit The Covington Visitors Center at 2101 Clark Street located right off the Covington Square, can provide many self-guided tours options for your visit. 

 

 

 

10 Reasons Why Covington is The Original Hollywood of the South

Covington has been branded “The Original Hollywood of the South” for quite a while now. You are constantly hearing us and other refer to locals as this but do you really know why? It’s not just because The Vampire Diaries filmed here. Don’t get us wrong, we love our Vampires but there is more to Covington than just being #ForeverMysticFalls. We are bringing you 10 reasons, in no particular order why Covington is “The Original Hollywood of the South”

 

 

  1. Rich History and Antebellum Homes/Mansions

 

Covington has many beautiful historic homes that make you take a step back in time. All around Covington you can see historical buildings and historic markers that tell about the history of our great town. The historical aspect of our town is one of the main reasons location scouts love Covington.

 

  1. Film Incentives

 

It is said that Georgia has one of the best film incentive programs in the US. Georgia offers a 20% tax rebate for productions shot in the state with an additional 10% for those who include the Georgia “Peach State” logo in its credits.

 

  1. Geographical Features

 

Newton County’s 5 cities’ geographically features make it perfect for filming many scene types. Porterdale has the Yellow River. Covington has a beautiful downtown square with an iconic clock tower. Oxford is home to a small college. Mansfield/Newborn has country roads with lots of barns and farms.

best places in mystic falls

 

  1. Past Film Productions

 

Tourists flock to small town for its rich film history. TV shows like The Dukes of Hazzard, In the Heat of the Night and most recently The Vampire Diaries, helped put Covington on the map. Also, many films have been produced in our quaint town. Covington has become one of the crown jewel of Georgia for filming.

 

  1. Less Expensive Amenities

 

Its already expensive enough to shoot a movie but when it comes to amenities, Georgia is less expensive. Restaurants, supermarkets, transportation, utilities, rent, and more are much more affordable in Georgia. According to Shofur Technologies, food is 8% cheaper and entertainment is 17% cheaper compared to Los Angeles. So, by shooting in Covington your saving some extra bucks when it comes to feeding and housing your crew.

 

 

 

  1. Economic Growth

 

In 2017 Nathan Deal announced that film and television productions generated over $9 billion in economic impact. Because so many movies are being filmed here and they are doing well in the box office, this sets an example and makes others want to film their movie or television shows here. Television productions, like The Vampire Diaries was a huge hit and The Walking Dead still is have become HUGE hits and their filming locations are as well.

 

 

  1. Film Studio

 

Covington is in the process of building a film studio that will be a great asset to add to Covington. Three Ring Studio is going to be a 160 acres’ film studio divided into three campuses. Three Ring Studios is located conveniently close to Atlanta transportation, entertainment, and business, but far enough to allow you to work without interruption.

 

  1. Less Extreme Weather

 

Even though Georgia has unpredictable weather, it’s not extreme like other states. With Georgia’s mild winters and temperate climate, you can shoot anytime for almost any scene.

 

 

  1. Local Colleges/ Schools

 

Education is always important and Covington luckily has three colleges right here. Oxford College of Emory University is in the city of Oxford and is convenient for filming scenes that need a college backlot. We also have Georgia State University Newton Campus as well as Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Besides these college we have many high schools that have been used for filming in the past.

 

  1. Tours

 

Because we have so many tourists that come to see where their favorite show was filmed we have guided and self-guided tours available. One popular tour is the Mystic Falls Tour. It takes you around Covington to see popular spots from the hit TV show The Vampire Diaries. What makes this different is you get behind the scenes stones that you can’t get just from a map. This tour also is the map. This tour also is the only approved tour that has access to the Lockwood Mansion. For more information on self-guided tours stop by the Newton County Visitors Center located at 2101 Clark Street right off the Square.

economic impact of film

 

 

 

 

 

Reel Locations in Mystic Falls: Whitmore College

Even though one of our favorite television productions has ended, we can still reminisce on all the good times. The Vampire Diaries will always have a place in our hearts and we thank them for calling Covington home. When you watch the show you can see familiar locations such as our famous clock-tower and Lockwood Mansion. But did you know that Oxford College of Emory University was also a film location for the hit TV series, the college was used as Whitmore College in the series. Since Covington served as Mystic Falls, and conveniently has a college nearby in Oxford, Ga, it was very helpful for filming.

Oxford College of Emory University was first seen in Season 4 when Damon, Bonnie, and Elena went to a frat party on campus soon after Elena became a vampire. In season 6, Alaric begins teaching a class at Whitmore, Jo is working at the hospital on campus, and Elena is enrolled in medical school there. Being that all supernatural characters were banned from Mystic Falls in Season 5, Whitmore College was the perfect place for everybody to call home. As you walk the campus you can see familiar locations where Elena and Caroline moved-in as well when great moments that happened during this season.

For more information on self-guided or guided tours click here or visit the Visitors Center located at 2101 Clark Street Covington, GA 30014.

In The Heat of The Night Film Locations

Newton County has been home to numerous film and television productions that have provided impact to culture and society. Not only have the productions brought economic benefits to the community, but they have attracted people from all over the world to come and visit. Shows like The Vampire Diaries and movies like Remember the Titanshave enthralled audiences for decades, but one program that has left an indelible mark on the community is In the Heat of the Night. This television series, centered in the town Sparta, Mississippi, details the story of a local police department solving crimes amidst the backdrop of social change in the southern United States. Many sites and memories of the show have become well known around the country, and even the world.

With the show centering on the activities of the local Sparta Police Station, the actual building became a recognizable fixture in living rooms across the country. The building in reality served as the Newton County Library during the time of filming, located on historic Monticello Street near the Square of Covington. Visiting the location today can transport you back in time to the police station of Chief Bill Gillespie. One of the most popular attractions in Newton County is the Covington Square, which served as the square of the fictional Sparta. As you walk the square today, following the steps taken by characters of the highly successful show, be sure to go inside some of the stores and restaurants.

vampire diaries film locations

Two of the main characters of the show, Police Chief Bill Gillespie and Virgil Tibbs, have their homes located in Downtown Covington. Both the Tibbs and Gillespie’s homes are still standing today. Although private property, both structures are featured in the self-guided location tour, available at the Visitor Information Center, and are easily seen from the sidewalks. Another sight that most viewers would recognize would be the historic Newton County Courthouse, which served as the Sparta Courthouse on the show, with many scenes taking place within the building. A slice of history is also preserved outside of the courthouse, where the production has a star in Covington’s famed Walk of Stars.

 

As decades have passed and television productions have come and gone, the impact of In the Heat of the Nighton the Newton County community cannot be overstated. The show has come to live on through recognizable locations and verbal history told by county residents. Come visit Newton County and Covington to walk the streets of “Sparta”.

Top 8 Popular Film and Show Productions Filmed in Covington

Top 8 Popular Film and Show Productions Filmed in Covington

It’s no secret that Covington, Georgia has long been the “Original Hollywood of the South”. The average frequent TV viewer would be surprised to see the long and continually growing list of productions that have been filmed in our probably southern town. From teen-heartthrob vampire shows to dad-drawing action thrillers, there is no limit to the genre of programs that have called Covington home. We decided to compile a list of the top films and television shows that have drawn on our locales to build the world on screen.

  1. The Vampire Diaries

If you are a fan of the show, you’ll have a field day going through the Covington Square, pointing out the iconic statues, architecture, and shops that have showed up throughout the many episodes. TVD itself takes place in a small, gothic southern town so when looking for a place to shoot the episodes; they couldn’t go wrong with Covington! Every episode since the pilot has been filmed here. Places like the Mystic Grill we see in the show are also actual places that any fan can come and visit! If you want to feel like you are stepping into the world of Elena, Stefan, and Damon all you have to do is plan a visit

  1. The Originals

As an extension of the Vampire Diaries’ universe, there are many scenes that were filmed here when relating to the characters who call Mystic Falls their home. This series follows the original vampires, the Mikaelson siblings, in the city of New Orleans.

 

 

  1. Dukes of Hazzard

The first five episodes of this iconic series were filmed in Covington, Georgia, setting and cementing the tone for the show before the filming location was moved to California. For those that aren’t familiar with the show, the Dukes of Hazzard is an action-comedy that follows characters in the rural community of Hazzard, airing a whopping total of 147 episodes.

dukes of hazzard

  1. In the Heat of the Night

Based on the book of the same name, In the Heat of the Night is about a black police detective who passes through a small town during the time of the civil rights movement. There is a movie and a show, but it was the show’s second season that was filmed in Covington and began filming and stayed for the duration of the series.

  1. The Walking Dead

Chances are you’ve either watched this series or have family and friends that are wholly invested into its characters and plot. Who doesn’t love an alternate reality where a cop wakes up to find zombies running all over after all? The show itself majorly takes place in Georgia, so it’s fitting that many of the scenes were shot here. Driving through Covington’s roads, you can easily picture a few undead limping about so watch out! The first episode was shot here before it made Senoia its home.

  1. Selma

This powerful film documenting Martin Luther King Jr.’s Selma march is another of the many productions that have been filmed in Covington. Although much of the movie was filmed in Alabama, key scenes were also filmed in the Courthouse in Covington which became Hotel Albert

 

  1. Miracles from Heaven

This Christian drama revolves around the true story of a girl who after a near death experience is cured from an incurable disease, starring Jennifer Garner, Martin Henderson and Queen Latifah. The filming was done in a beautiful country house here in Covington.

micirales

  1. Flight

This movie follows a pilot (played by Denzel Washington) whose addiction plagues his life, eventually leading to a crash. He manages to save everyone except for six lives, launching an investigation into his addiction. The actual crash scene was filmed right here at Green Valley Farms.

This is just a sample of the long and rich relationship between Hollywood and Covington. Covington is recognized as one of the top film friendly locations and the number of productions continues to grow.  We invite you to make the Newton County Visitor Center (2101 Clark Street Covington, GA 30014) the first stop to learn more about what makes us the “Original Hollywood of the South.”

 

 

 

 

The Crossover Locations from The Vampire Diaries to The Originals

Covington, Georgia is known as the “Original Hollywood of the South” and has a rich and diverse history within the film and television industry. We are excited to provide the backdrop to some of your favorite shows. The Vampire Diaries and its spinoff The Originals are two series that called Covington home.  The combination of the beautiful setting, unique characters, and nail-biting plot twists that are embedded in each scene of these shows drew us in and kept us coming back for more. There’s absolutely no better feeling than revisiting the fond memories of our favorite vampires, werewolves, and other magical creatures while binge-watching the beloved series. However, die-hard-fans of The Vampire Diaries know that some of the most brilliant episodes in the series’ history include numerous cross-over episodes with The Originals. Therefore, we at Film Covington want to highlight our top five, favorite cross-over episodes between The Vampire Diaries and The Originals.

1.The Originals; Season 4, Episode 20 of The Vampire Diaries

 

Many people in The Vampire Diaries’ fandom are familiar with Season 4, Episode 20, rightfully titled The Originals, centered around the vampires that started it all. It was proclaimed as an unofficial or backdoor pilot to the show’s spin-off series, The Originals. This episode mainly captures the journey of an original vampire named Klaus who visits his home city of New Orleans. The primary reason for Klaus’ return is to investigate the rumors of a devious scheme being crafted against him.

2. Bloodletting; Season 1, Episode 7 of The Originals

In season 1 of The Originals, Klaus is faced with many challenges from his troubled past, but character from Mystic Falls makes an unexpected appearance that surprised fans to say the least. Tyler Lockwood, a teen werewolf with an appetite for vengeance, visits New Orleans in order to murder Klaus’ unborn child.

 

3. 500 Years of Solitude; Season 5, Episode 11 of The Vampire Diaries

 

To commemorate the series’ 100th episode, the notorious Katherine returns with a terrible condition. The characters are surprised to learn that she is slowly deteriorating, but instead of grief, they celebrate her overdue death. Meanwhile, Katherine attempts to accept this grim fate, but her daughter, Nadia refuses to do the same. She tells Katherine about a magical spell that will allow her to jump into Elena’s body. The episode ends with Katherine on the phone with Nadia, informing her that the spell worked.

 

4. Moonlight on the Bayou; Season 6, Episode 14 of The Vampire Diaries

This episode is part of showrunner Julie Plec’s ingenious two-night crossover event. Mystic Falls’ favorite vampire bad-boy Stefan heads to New Orleans, attempting to escape a vampire hunter named Rayna Cruz. His plan is to lure the hunter away from Mystic Falls and stay at a safe house Valerie assures can protect him.

 

5. A Streetcar Named Desire; Season 3, Episode 14 of The Originals

 

Klaus and Elijah find themselves stuck in a magical trap that render them useless. Their biggest concern is that a coven of evil witches will succeed in casting a spell powerful enough to kill an original vampire. Additionally, Stefan is enlisted to help Freya get her brothers back with the help of Marcel and Hayley.

 

This is our list. Tell us what you think? What was your favorite crossover episode? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and leave your comment. Better yet, feel free to visit the Reel Mystic Falls, Covington Georgia, #ForeverMysticFalls.

The Dukes of Hazzard: Fourth Episode Recap

In the fourth episode of The Dukes of Hazzard, originally aired in February 1979, Bo and Luke are on a test run with The General Lee in preparation for the big dirt track race. The Duke boys are trying to figure out the best way to deal with the unexpected obstacles that happen on a racetrack. Luke Duke quotes Murphy’s Law to Bo saying, “Whatever can go wrong will.”

Bo asks, “Was this Murphy guy was a race driver?“ and Luke responds, “He must be, everyone keeps talking about him.” Little did they know how right Murphy would be.

On their way back home, Luke and Bo spot a car at Ace’s Clean Used Cars dealership. Not just any car, but a race car that was driven by “The King” Richard Petty himself and was wrecked filming a tire commercial. Bo convinces Luke that if they buy the car and use it for the engine parts to bolster up the General Lee, then they will surely win on Saturday. They agree, but know that means they have to “deal with Ace.”

Speaking of dealing with Ace, as the Dukes are outside, Boss Hogg and his wife Lulu are inside the dealership and Miss Lulu is upset. Apparently Ace sold a Rolls Royce that Boss had promised to get for her birthday. Ace tells them that the car was already sold when she picked it out. Boss Hogg is not hearing it and tells Ace to repossess the car. Ace retorts that the buyers were big, scary and “yankee talking.” Ace tells Boss Hogg that they paid with a check and Boss Hogg (who owns half of the Bank AND half of the car dealership) tears the check and demands that Ace repo’s the Rolls Royce.

As Boss and Miss Lulu are leaving, the Dukes attempt to buy the Richard Petty car. Ace, being in the spot he is in, agrees to sell the car for $200 if the Duke boys repossess the Rolls. Reluctantly, the Dukes agree. After they leave to reclaim the car, Ace tells Boss Hogg he has gotten the Dukes to retrieve the car. Boss is happy and gives Ace fake titles to go with all the “used” cars on his lot. When Ace tells him that he needs one for the Richard Petty car, Boss tells him to not give them one. By not having a registration, the car is presumed stolen and would violate the Boys probation, sending them to prison for two years. Ace agrees and the plan is set.

What the Dukes do not know is that the car was purchased by Joey Zacato, a small time crook who works for East Coast racketeer, Abe Sorino. Joey explains that he bought the car because the Police rarely pull over a car like that. He did not want to get pulled over because he (and his crew) were creating plates to counterfeit money and they were going to hide the plates in the car and bring them back to Abe. The Duke Boys, recruit Cooter and they head out to reclaim the Rolls Royce. As you can guess, things do not go as smoothly as they had hoped. The Dukes escape from an attacking Doberman Pincher, being shot at and having to fight their way home. Bo and Luke make one stop before they go home; they pay good ol’ Ace a visit. After a brief apology Ace agrees to sell the Richard Petty car to the Dukes for $200.

Ace breaks the bad news to Boss Hogg, who is with Miss Lulu at The Boar’s Nest and tells him about having to give the racecar to Bo and Luke. Daisy overhears the call for Sherriff Roscoe and Enos to arrest the boys for possession of a stolen car. Bo and Luke ask for Uncle Jesse to represent them facing the charges.

Uncle Jesse tells the boys that the best option is to find out what Ace and Boss Hogg are really up to, so the boys approach them and are told that if they were able to retrieve the Rolls Royce, Ace will drop the charges. The Dukes agree and head off to Cooter to help devise a plan to repo that car. While that is happening, Enos makes a visit to the Duke Farm to speak with Uncle Jesse, but Daisy is the only one there. After some convincing, Enos shares that Boss Hogg lied and that Sherriff Roscoe is still planning to arrest Bo and Luke, which violates their parole.

Well, Bo and Luke retrieve the car (which Joey has now hidden the counterfeit money plates in the car) and after eluding the gun toting gangsters, were met by Sherriff Roscoe who takes possession of the Rolls from Bo and Luke.  When they come home and tell Uncle Jesse, he asks the boys if they are ready to play a little “dirty pool” and they leave.

We then see The Duke Family thanking Cooter as he leaves Ace’s place. Boss Hogg (with Miss Lulu), Sherriff Roscoe, Deputy Enos , Ace, and Joey and his gang arrive shortly after that go into Ace’s garage where they see all of Ace’s cars (including the Rolls Royce) in small little squares courtesy of Cooter and a car compactor.  As the counterfeiters look on they see an imprint of a twenty dollar bill in the wreckage, as does Sherriff Roscoe. He gives them 30 minutes to get out of the county and the bad guys quietly walk away.  Miss Lulu is unhappy and tells Boss Hogg to get a new Rolls Royce for her. Of course, Boss goes after Ace. As for the Duke Boys, they have a race on Saturday to get the General Lee ready for.

We are so excited that the Dukes of Hazzard called Covington home, while filming the first 5 (five) episodes. You see several shots of the iconic Courthouse and the Covington square in this episode. We invite you to make plans to see some of the filming locations from the Dukes of Hazzard in the ORIGINAL “Hollywood Of The South”, Covington Georgia.

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…