temporary closure of Georgia’s State Route 46 between Sinkhole Road and
Nevils-Groveland Road in Bulloch County won’t be for construction or repairs,
but for filming segments of a movie – filming that doesn’t involve the stars.
That a movie starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon is being filmed partly in the Savannah area has been public knowledge for some time. CDC Extras Savannah has been posting casting calls for extras on social media since July 31. The movie reportedly concerns a 1966 real-life effort by a Ford Motor Company design and racing team to beat Ferrari’s cars and drivers in a major European race.
Along with other road and lane closures listed in an email Saturday, the Georgia Department of Transportation District 5 office in Jesup noted that the segment of Route 46 will be closed “for filming productions” this Thursday through the following Thursday, Aug. 30.
That is the permitted closure period. But filming on the highway is expected to take just four days, Aug. 26-29, Alex Worman, unit publicist for the film he called “Spoilers,” wrote in an email Monday. He described the footage being shot here as second-unit driving sequences.
“As noted, none of our principal cast will be present for these scenes,” Worman wrote. “They are in Los Angeles where the main unit is currently filming.”
He mentioned this more than once. Local officials also noted the secondary, starless nature of the filming here, dropping a strong hint that for safety reasons, people not to flock to the area expecting to see them.
“Spoilers” is a working title, also used in CDC Extras’ recent posts. IMDb.com, the Internet Movie Database, currently identifies the Bale and Damon film as “Ford v. Ferrari.” But Worman confirmed that “Spoilers” is the same film, for which no official title has been chosen. The movie is slated for release June 28, 2019, by 20th Century Fox.
The Georgia Department of Transportation issued the road closure permit and will inspect, but the production company must place any barricades at its expense and work with law enforcement to ensure that the highway is properly closed and detours provided, said GDOT District 5 Communications Specialist Jill Nagel.
“We’re working closely with the Department of Transportation and Sheriff's Department and Georgia State Patrol on those road closures and detours,” Worman said. “We thank them and (Bulloch County) for their collaboration to make that happen and are grateful to the residents who may be briefly inconvenienced.”
In fact, the moviemakers are paying for off-duty state troopers and Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office deputies to provide traffic control and make sure everyone is safe at the filming locations, said BCSO Capt. Todd Hutchens. The sheriff’s office provides assistance in the same way for some locally organized events, such as the Kiwanis-Ogeechee Fair.
“They will be paying both us and the troopers for working out there,” Hutchens said. “We’ll have regular shifts working regular day-to-day operations just like normal, and folks that are off will be providing security details just as we do with other events. … This is what we call an off-duty detail.”
Georgia filming boom
Just last week, the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Gov. Nathan Deal announced that a record 455 film and television productions were shot in Georgia during the state’s fiscal year 2018, which ended June 30. These productions brought $2.7 billion in direct spending to Georgia’s economy, according to the Department of Economic Development press release.
The direct-spending value of Georgia film and TV productions has climbed sharply from $93 million in 2007, the year before a revised Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act was signed into law.
The act provides a 20 percent Georgia tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in the state in a year. By adding a Georgia promotional logo to their finished projects, companies can get an additional 10 percent credit, and those with little or no Georgia tax liability can sell or transfer their credits.
Georgia’s program also designates Camera Ready liaisons, individuals or organizations that production companies can contact for support for film projects, in every county.
“The Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau is the Camera Ready office for Statesboro and Bulloch County, and we’re always excited about film projects coming to our area,” said SCVB Executive Director Becky Davis.
Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.