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Jim Blaylock/Staff
Shelly Clark (left) and Beda Johnson, of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau, stand at the canal headgates, one of the county’s Camera Ready locations.

Ready for filming

More homes are needed to be sets for TV, movies

Posted: October 15, 2011 - 4:02pm  |  Updated: October 15, 2011 - 10:58pm
Jim Blaylock / Staff
Shelly Clark (left) and Beda Johnson, of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau, stand at the canal headgates, one of the county’s Camera Ready locations.

Twitter @DonnieFetter

The Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau needs your home to help Hollywood studios make movies.

Columbia County earned a certification from the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office in December to take part in the Camera Ready program with the visitors bureau acting as the liaison.

The Camera Ready program is a registry of locations throughout the state available for use in commercials, television shows and movies. The FMDE works with film production scouts to locate communities suitable to their particular needs.

"We're trying to make it easier for the production scouts so we can be an easy destination for them to select," said convention and visitors bureau Executive Director Beda Johnson.

Camera Ready played an integral role in the selection of Covington, Ga., as the film site for the hit CW show The Vampire Diaries, Johnson said.

Currently, Columbia County has about 40 properties on the registry, but Johnson said most are government-owned locations, such as the Appling Courthouse or Savannah Rapids Pavilion.

What's needed, she said, are more homes.

"It could be an overgrown shack in the back of your house ... or 1960s homes in a neighborhood where every house looks the same," Johnson said. "It doesn't have to be the newest and best of everything.

"You just have to be willing to allow them (production companies) to come in during the production time while you live somewhere else."

Some requests, Johnson said, have been as specific as a farmhouse in an open field that can double for Iowa.

Production companies, she said, will compensate selected homeowners for the use of the home and alternate living arrangements.

And once filming is concluded, the companies will return the home to its original look, Johnson said.

Anyone interested in taking part in the program should call the convention and visitors bureau at (706) 447-7677.

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