We’re still in the middle of the Hollywood of the South’s slow season, though you might not know it from walking around the city. February may have given us cold, rain, and lately a few glimpses of spring, but it also brought an adornment of yellow filming signs and stars to see. Here’s what we saw this month:
Super Fly (production code: GRAVITATIONAL) continues to be the big production in Atlanta this month. Starring Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Allen Maldonado, Lex Scott Davis, Andrea Londo, Jacob Ming-Trent, and Omar Chapphro, as well as being led by famed hip-hop music video director Director X, the film is a remake of the blaxploitation classic of the same name. Finishing off January, GRAVITATIONAL signs spotted in Vinnings on the 23rd. We next spotted filming downtown, near Phillips Arena on February 10. A basecamp was set up in Tucker off of Lawrenceville Highway between the 20th and the 23rd. Most recently, Super Fly has been off the Murphy Avenue side of the Metropolitan in Adair Park.
Season two of the Jason Bateman-led Netflix series Ozark (BCP) continued filming into February as well. On the 13th, signs were posted in Roswell at Old Alabama Road and Nesbit Ferry Road. The next day, crews were out at their usual Lake Allatoona spot. On February 20, production moved in town, shooting a residential home in Druid Hills. Three days later, Ozark was spotted in Lawrenceville.
New this month, the OWN series Love Is_ (LOVE) has begun filming. Created by husband and wife team Mara Brock and Salim Akil, the show will parallel the couple’s actual history navigating Black Hollywood. The series stars Michele Weaver and Will Catlett. On January 30, Love Is_ started working out of Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville. For most of the month, it stayed there, but signs were spotted in Buckhead on February 27.
Also new this month is Only (ONLY), a sci-fi film starring the recently freed-up Chandler Riggs, Freida Pinto, and Leslie Odom Jr. (of Hamilton fame). The film follows a young couple living in the aftermath of a lethal virus that seems to have killed all of the world’s women, hiding out from not only the virus but also the men left behind. Signs for Only were placed downtown on January 24. Between February 14 and 16, a basecamp was set up near the entrance to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area by Roberts Drive.
BET is shooting the final season of Being Mary Jane (PARLAY). Signs were plopped along Fulton Industrial Boulevard and Westpark Place on February 1. Between the 5th and the 6th, a basecamp formed at Birmingham United Methodist Church in Milton. The next day, crews continued to work nearby in Cumming.
NBC’s Good Girls (GOOD GIRLS) may have wrapped, but it was active for about half the month. On February 9, the production worked out of Clarkston. On the 12th, crews were in Decatur. On February 13, filming occurred near Atlantic Station.
FOX’s The Resident (TR) was spotted in February as well. Signs were up in Conyers on the 8th, as well as between February 12 and 15. On the 9th, a scene was shot in Marietta.
CBS’s MacGyver (EYE) continues to be everywhere around Atlanta. On February 8, crews filmed at Peachtree DeKalb Airport. The next day, signs were seen on John Wesley Dobbs and Piedmont Avenues downtown. Between the 10th and the 13th, crews worked in the Cumberland area. Also on February 13, a scene was shot at the Marriott Marquis downtown. East Point Library was used on February 22 for filming as well.
Black Lightning (LOC) filmed in Lithonia on February 23. FOX’s Star (SOS) had signs posted along Howell Mill Road in West Midtown on February 15, and along Riverside Parkway on February 26. Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House (HHH) set up a basecamp at the First United Methodist Church in Marietta just off the square between January 29 and February 2 and shot at a nearby residential address. Oprah’s Greenleaf (GL) was spotted in Buckhead between January 31 and February 1.
And finally this month, in the wake of the senatorial passage of SB 375, some in Hollywood are calling for for a boycott of Georgia’s film industry should the bill become law. Commonly referred to as a “religious liberty bill,” SB 375 aims to permit agencies to disallow adoption to those that they deem unacceptable due to faith-based reasons. This opens the door for homosexual couples to be denied an adoption based solely on their sexual orientation. On February 25, writer and producer Ben Wexler, whose credits include The Grinder, Arrested Development, and Community tweeted: “To my fellow showrunners: if this dumb bill becomes law, let’s be done filming television shows in Georgia.” Others rallied behind the tweet, supporting it with over 17,000 retweets and 63,000 likes. Army Wives creator Katherine Fugate, also tweeted in support of the boycott, saying that she is hoping to film a movie here in the spring.
To my fellow showrunners: if this dumb bill becomes law, let’s be done filming television shows in Georgia https://t.co/d5Vd5bj8Rp
— Ben Wexler (@mrbenwexler) February 26, 2018
If any of this sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve been down this road before. In 2016, HB 757, the original “religious liberty bill” made it all the way to the Governor Deal’s desk. Disney, among others, threatened to pull out of the state if it became law. Deal vetoed the bill, and our industry continued to grow. So far, none of the large studios have commented on SB 375, but if the current Twitter rumblings are any indication, we could soon see threats from productions eager to work in places with more inclusive laws. SB 375 still faces a House vote, but if it passes, Deal’s veto pen may once again be needed to stop a massive blow to our film industry.
Georgia’s film industry had an economic impact of $9.5 billon during fiscal year 2017. Throwing that away is almost as dumb as going to war against Atlanta’s hometown airline.