2021 was a strong year for film in Augusta and the surrounding area. Beginning with “Getaway Driver” for the Discovery Channel, followed by action thriller “Agent Game,” then “Applewood” and finishing with “The Hill” in December many local jobs were supported and film spending contributed to the local economy. Furthermore, advances in growing a local film industry crew base were made with a contractual agreement with the Georgia Film Academy (GFA), Augusta Tech and IndieGrip to offer GFA classes in Augusta beginning in January.
Spending by film productions in 2021 was $3.18 million compared to $119,275 in 2020. We are excited to see what 2022 has ahead.
This year took off like a getaway driver when television series “Getaway Driver” was filmed on location in Augusta, Georgia in the beginning months of 2021 for the Discovery Channel and Discovery+. This explosive and ambitious new driving challenge show chose Augusta as its location in 2020. Choosing Augusta was a result of Film Augusta hosting location scouts and many months of negotiations with the production and location owners. “Getaway Driver” stars Michelle Rodriguez plus 24 drivers and pursuers in a real-life chase challenge.
The show premiered July 19 on the Discovery Channel airing on Mondays at 9 p.m. and streaming anytime on Discovery+. Film Augusta estimates this production generated upwards of $1 Million in economic impact for the area. Rolling right out of that project, the second quarter of 2021 continued to bustle in film activity. “Agent Game,” an independently produced film starring Dermot Mulroney (pictured during our on-set interview above) and featuring Mel Gibson, shot in Augusta and the surrounding area during April and May.
Much of downtown Augusta got front-row seats to the action film watching Mel Gibson in a chase and gunfight scene in the middle of Broad Street. “Agent Game,” hired local crew, stayed in hotel rooms and short-term rentals, and injected just under $1 Million into the area’s economy. “Applewood,” another independently-produced film, began production in May. This project filmed in Augusta and neighboring counties, hired local crew, purchased local goods and services, and featured many local actors as cast. During the summer, Augusta came very close to being in a major Marvel production.
Film Augusta hosted the location manager, director, first AD, director of photography and art director more than once for consideration in an upcoming blockbuster. In the end, an artistic decision led the production to an out-of-state location, but relationships were built, and Augusta gained more exposure to key decision makers in the film industry. Closing out 2021, the production “The Hill” starring Dennis Quaid and directed by Jeff Celentano filmed in Augusta and surrounding areas during November and December.
The film tells the true-life story of Ricky Hill who overcame a childhood physical disability to play professional baseball. Scenes were filmed at Lake Olmstead Stadium, Eisenhower Park, Masters City Little League, various Augusta houses and neighborhoods as well as in neighboring counties.
Economic impact of “The Hill” is estimated at just under $2 Million. 2021 Registered Film Projects “The Getaway” for Discovery Channel Naked Epicurean Video Short “Fairy Glass” Student Film “The Last Hole in the Woods” Student Film “Follow the Sighns” Student Film “Real” Music Video Ty Cobb Documentary “America’s Caddie” Webisode “Agent Game” Feature Length Film “Ambushed” Short Film Mini Documentary by Student Cineloco Fundraising Video for Paceline “In Pursuit” with John Walsh “Applewood” Independent Film “Black People Don’t Tango” Short “Finding Home” Documentary “Bloom” Independent Short “The Hill” Feature Film “Nightcap Confessions” Proof of Concept.