Welcome to the Film Industry!
Butts County is a Georgia Camera Ready Community and was one of the earliest counties to meet the qualifications for being designated by the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office. The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office launched the Camera Ready Communities program in 2010 to train and certify Georgia counties to work effectively with production companies and provide local, one-on-one assistance in every aspect of production, from location scouting and film permits to traffic control, catering and lodging.
When it comes to filming for movies or television, location is everything and we feature a number of sites suitable for filming and conducive to production needs. Our natural vistas, scenic locations and historical sites combined with our close proximity to Atlanta and an international airport offers a combination of location and logistical support that is hard to find in other parts of Georgia. Additionally, we have played host to film companies shooting location footage for films that will be introduced at various film festivals.
If you are interested in filming in Butts County, please contact our Camera Ready Film Office Liaison and we will be happy to assist you in providing information, local contact information, logistics and permitting procedures. Our contact information is:
Butts County Camera Ready Film Office
625 W. Third Street, Suite 4
Jackson, Georgia 30233
J. Michael Brewer
Government Relations Director
Camera Ready Liaison
A sampling of some of our available film locations are included below.
Some recent films which have featured locations in Butts County include:
- Tyler Perry’s “A Madea Christmas” (Christmas 2013) Lionsgate Films
- “Endless Love” (Valentine’s Day 2014) Universal Pictures
- “Need for Speed” (March 2014) DreamWorks Films
- “The Originals” The CW Television Network (Season 2)
- “Stranger Things”, Netflix Productions (2015)
Indian Springs State Park, the oldest state park in the United States, offers hundreds of acres of scenic, natural beauty that includes a diverse range of topography and geographical features that are both unique and accessible. The areas within the park include the scenic McIntosh Lake, hiking trails, rolling topography similar to what is found in the mountainous areas of North Georgia, a large creek with both rocky and non-rocky portions, bridges, historic structures and a significant Native American history. Many of the buildings located within the parks were built during the Great Depression as part of the Works Progress Administration’s Civilian Conservation Corps under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The rock structures have stood the test of time and are a testament to the craftsmanship and materials that went into their construction.
Located within a mile of the park’s entrance is the Indian Springs Holiness Campground which has already been featured in two made-for-television movies, as well as the historic Indian Springs Hotel, a circa 1820 roadside lodge with a history unlike any other. The large antebellum hotel, currently a museum, was the location where the treaties were signed that ceded all of the lands then owned by the Creek Indians over to the government and which precipitated the murder of Chief William McIntosh at his home in Carroll County by his own people for trading away their lands. The hotel has been restored to its authentic period look both inside and outside and also features a period-specific garden on the spacious grounds. A Native American festival held here each fall draws several thousand visitors to the hotel and grounds.
Jackson Lake is a large, man-made lake created in 1911 by the damming of the Ocmulgee River for what later became the Georgia Power Company. A large hydroelectric generating plant is located at the Jackson Lake Dam, along with the lake land management offices of Georgia Power. The lake is used today for recreational boating and residential living and features a variety of structures ranging from small fishing houses to luxury homes. There are numerous scenic vistas around Jackson Lake and a variety of coves conducive to filming. The lake also borders neighboring Newton and Jasper Counties but the management of the lake falls to the Georgia Power Land Office located on the Butts County side of the lake.
The Ocmulgee River below the Jackson Lake Dam features many miles of river wilderness that offer a variety of environments rich in natural beauty and unspoiled by development. The Ocmulgee River has been featured in movies before, including scenes in “Fried Green Tomatoes” which filmed downriver in the town of Juliette. The Ocmulgee River is a favorite area for fishing, canoeing and kayaking and even includes a section that features the ruins of a small town that was burned by Sherman’s Army in the 1860’s during the War Between the States.
The Butts County Courthouse, an original 1898 Victorian structure with elements of Italianate and Romanesque architecture is an excellent location for filming where a courthouse of historical background is needed. The building, including courtrooms and offices appear much as they did through the early half of the 20th century and has been used in various court scenes for television movies in the past. The exterior brick recently underwent a complete renovation and last year, new paint was added that restored the building to its original color scheme. The original Seth Thomas courthouse clock and bell continues to operate to this day, chiming the hour to let local businesses know of the time.
Several buildings located within blocks of the Courthouse in the city of Jackson include the Carmichael House, a Queen Anne style mansion also built in 1898, as well as the Presbyterian Church from the same year. All three buildings were designed by the same architectural firm, Bruce and Morgan and built under the supervision of Mr. Morgan in the 1897-1898 period. The house, which has been empty since 2010, is currently being used for location shooting on the successful television show “The Originals” on the CW Television Network. It is in an excellent state of preservation with many beautiful interior spaces and large, exterior porches and grounds that are particularly conducive to filming. The three story mansion is one of the largest houses that has ever been built in Butts County and has been the featured location for numerous weddings and other events. Both the Carmichael House and the Courthouse are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Fresh Air Barbecue, located a few miles south of Jackson, is the oldest restaurant in Butts County and the second oldest business in the county. This roadside barbecue stand was constructed in 1929 and the original building is still very much the same as when it was built. It was a favorite stopping off point for political hopefuls as well as numerous Governors of Georgia during the 20th century and is a popular destination today. The restaurant has been featured in “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol” where an armed robbery that took place in a restaurant was reenacted for the TV production.
Atlanta South Travel Plaza, a large truck plaza located at Interstate 75 and Highway 36 was recently used as a location for scenes in the upcoming movie “Need for Speed”, where film production crews transformed the travel plaza into a Nebraska Travel Center for various scenes. The production company worked with the Butts County Film Office, the Development Authority and the owners of Atlanta South to ensure a smooth filming effort, including the securing of space to stage production vehicles and crew.
This is only a sampling of the available venues that Jackson and Butts County offers to film production companies looking for locations. There are many other unique locales that can be utilized and we are committed to working with the film industry in any way possible. We offer a wide variety of locations within close proximity to urban centers and amenities.
We are minutes from Interstate 75, less than an hour south of Atlanta and a half hour north of Macon. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is located within 45 minutes of Jackson, Georgia depending on traffic conditions. For more information about locations and filming in Butts County, please contact us at the number above.