Savannah Film Office tackles change and new film

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The last two years have proven that Savannah is back in the movie business in a big way.

Monday morning, the newest feature began filming in downtown Savannah, titled, Savannah.

The new year, and new movies brings some major changes for the people who work on getting films in the city.

The Savannah Film Office, now in Daffin Park instead of downtown Savannah, is down to three people. However, they promise more film and TV projects are still on the way.

It's not an antique car show in downtown Savannah but a period piece, filming in Pulaski Square, a movie about Savannah called Savannah. It's already drawing spectators.

"We are curious about the movie filming and seeing what they are doing and watching their takes," Elaine Perry from Illinois told WTOC.

Perry is visiting Savannah with friends. "We did a little tour a few days ago and they pointed out where things were filmed. That was really interesting," Perry said.

Now, they are getting up close and personal.

"Only in a Hollywood Studios type of thing have I seen this, not live like this," she said.

"It's going great. It's a very aggressive project. They don't have a huge budget. They have a great team. Things are going really well on the streets and we are excited about it," Jay Self, Savannah Film Office director, told WTOC.

Self calls Savannah 2011's first big production. With his office caught up in budget cuts late last year, Self says they are refocusing on projects like this one.

"A period film is a difficult story to tell and we are working very closely with them," he said. "Most of our business happens downtown. Not being downtown poses a challenge but we will be able to overcome that challenge. That's okay. We're getting the job done."

Self says more movies could be coming, and two independent movies are still working out final details, but says Savannah is ready when they are.

Spectators, waiting catch a glimpse of a movie star, are hoping more movies come. Perry is hoping to see the start of Passion of the Christ's Jim Caviezel, who is the lead actor in Savannah.

"It's pretty cool. Very nice," she said.

Savannah will be filming downtown through March 8 and then move outside the city to finish up shooting. The film office says they have a few other features they are still working on and hope to announce more projects very soon.

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