Hollywood’s impact on LaGrange: What happens now?

Published 9:00 am Friday, October 14, 2022

It was a big deal when one movie was being filmed in LaGrange, but now there is a second movie in the works.

Many are wondering what that’ll mean for LaGrange long-term, and if it could result in more movie projects coming to the area.

Bill Hunnicutt, executive director of the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority, said the impact of the filming that has taken place so far has been minimal,  but he expects to see a bigger impact on tourism once the movies start airing. The first movie, A Perfect Christmas Pairing, is a made-for-TV movie.

Nicely Entertainment, the production company that has been filming in town is a relatively small company, he said.

“Unlike bigger groups like Netflix and Marvel that are around Atlanta, where they come in and pay lots of money and have huge budgets to write checks, these guys are here because our businesses in town are not asking for that now,” Hunnicutt said. “We’re allowing them to use our businesses and our name to put out there for marketing purposes and tourism purposes instead of asking for big checks to be written.”

DLDA’s plan of making the community of LaGrange film-friendly revolves around being welcoming and helpful to production crews.

“They sincerely love LaGrange, the people, and how heartfelt and welcoming we are, which is what people see when they come to LaGrange,” Hunnicutt said.

“They love it here because of our hospitality, and the fact that we don’t demand huge checks to be written to utilize some of our areas and businesses.”

Hunnicutt said part of DLDA’s strategy to draw in more movies is to keep up the image and reputation of being a family-friendly community.

“That’s the type of town we want to be, with fun-loving, good family people living here and that’s who you’ll attract. That’s the type of movies that have been filmed here,” Hunnicutt said.

Nicely Entertainment has loved it here and plans on doing films in the future, he said. Presently the project being filmed now is a thriller.

“We are certainly excited that we’ve got a group like this that has come. They have done films all over the country,” Hunnicutt said.

“We are over the moon excited about the welcoming, hospitality and support that they found here in LaGrange.”