Liberty Co. ready for its close-up

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 10:15 AM EDT
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LIBERTY COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A new film is streaming now on Netflix, featuring some familiar locations to folks in the Coastal Empire.

Tyler Perry’s film “A Jazzman’s Blues” debuts Friday on the streaming service and scenes in the film were shot on location in Liberty County.

It’s the latest film to premiere and more projects are in the works.

All creating new revenue streams for a community ready for its close up.

The Bacon-Fraser House is one of Hinesville’s historic properties... now getting a moment to shine on screen.

It’s just one of several locations in the Coastal Empire used by filmmaker Tyler Perry in his new film, “A Jazzman’s Blues.”

“I don’t know if I picked it or it picked me because there’s something about Savannah and the soil, the air, the certain times a year, the trees and the Spanish moss. All these things, they all dictated it and I think that the first time I visited, it said to me, this is where Jazzman should be shot. It’s just such a beautiful place,” Perry said.

“It was neat to see the transformation that the property took.”

Leah Poole is the CEO for Liberty County Chamber of Commerce. In recent years, she’s also become a part-time location scout of sorts.

“We are the camera ready liaisons for Liberty County so when location scouts are looking and they start at the state level, they filter down to us. So we get those calls and if they say I need a dirt road or I need a what we tend to drop whatever we’re doing and go find that item.”

Because bringing film and TV projects like this can mean good money.

“It was a big impact. Just the hotel stays was over a million dollars.”

“I mean, obviously we made money by letting them the Tyler Perry folks film here and that was good for us because we’re a small nonprofit.”

“It’s a good financial benefit from it. The upkeep and maintenance of this building is pretty high.”

Gill Martin is caretaker for the Midway Church and Society.

He also oversees the historic Dorchester Presbyterian Church.

While it doesn’t appear in Perry’s film this week, a few other heavy hitters set up shop here earlier this year.

“The Color Purple, the musical, produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg. Oprah came down here one day. She came here to the church.”

And with each new production arriving in town, the word spreads a little more.

“To know that Tyler Perry walked on this grass is pretty impactful. To know that he’s been here and there’s a possibility that he could come back if he had a good experience with us, to me, makes my job worthwhile.”