People in the movie industry refer to Georgia as Y’allywood. A lot of movies have been filmed in Savannah. I think it is because of the tax incentives, the weather, our interesting landscapes, unique setting, and our general friendly welcoming attitude. We aren’t bothered at all by film crews rearranging our fine city just as long as they put it back when they leave.
Since I’ve been here there have been a few movies made, and although I never was in one, it is interesting to watch.
I was impressed with how quickly Savannah changed into a pink, yellow and green beach town for The SpongeBob movie: Sponge Out of Water. They renamed the businesses and for a few days it wasn’t unusual to see cartoon characters running down Broughton Street. The Grand Army of The Republic came back in town to film The Conspirator to lynch Mary Sarratt at Fort Pulaski. The old fort was also the site where President Lincoln fought a hoard of zombies in Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies.
Tybee Beach was the setting for The Last Song featuring Miley Cyrus (before she gave herself the finger). They had a scene where she was protecting a nest of loggerhead turtles, but in truth the bright lights from the movie set had the turtle hatchlings lost and unable to find the ocean, so they got stepped on or run over. We don’t talk much about that.
Everyone knows scenes for Forrest Gump were filmed here. There is a breakfast place on State Street that tourists walk by and excitedly say “Jenny worked here!” And sometimes they take their picture standing in front of the place.
I like to watch movies that have been shot here to see if I can recognize the locations. Congress Street went back to 1931 for The Legend of Bagger Vance and for the movie Glory the streets were covered with dirt. In 1962 Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum had a sinister meeting in front of the Customs House on Bay Street in Cape Fear. The movie, The Gift showed the seedy part of town and all bad dudes hung out at AJ’s. Almost all of the TV miniseries Roots was filmed in Savannah. (Yes, even the African landscape shots). I need to mention the movies; Forces of Nature, The General’s Daughter, and of course Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil.
Rumor has it that Robert De Niro might be coming to town to film Dirty Grandpa. Let’s hope he doesn’t encounter Swamp Thing, The Gingerbread Man or any Hellyfish.
After all, this is Savannah and ya never know what will happen in Y’allywood