COVINGTON, Ga. - The film crew of “Legacies,” a spinoff to “The Originals" and "The Vampire Diaries," found a second home in Covington.
Before filming, Lia Towers, key assistant location manager, acquainted herself with local shop owners on the square. She made it a point to put a face to every local shop owner, and in the process of doing so, local shop owners were able to put a face to the film crew.
“I know almost everybody’s name," Towers said. "I definitely know their faces.”
The reason behind introducing herself to local shop owners was so she, and the rest of the “Legacies” crew, could become more approachable to residents in the future when concerns arise.
“I want to be seen more as a friendly neighbor so that we can be approachable about concerns they have,” David Luse, location manager, said. “We are a locations team, and we work for the production as much as we work for the town. We are there to address those concerns.”
Luse and Towers are both Georgia locals - Luse was born and raised in Georgia while Towers has lived in the state for six years. About 80% of the “Legacies” crew are locals, living in or around Covington, according to Towers, and as locals, they shop locally.
“I’ve almost bought something from every store,” Towers said. “Almost every single one has had some of my paycheck.”
“I think that’s true for a lot of crew members as well,” Luse added.
For the crew of “Legacies,” Covington is their second home, and they want to be seen as a positive force in the community, according to Luse.
"We want every town that we go into to be better because of filming," Towers said. "Sometimes you don't see the impact until a few months later."
"Or years later, like 'The Vampire Diaries,'" Luse added.Jessica Lowery, founder and owner of Mystic Falls Tours, believed that filming has positively impacted Covington. She stated the crew is helping local, family-owned businesses by eating at local restaurants and buying props from local stores.
Not only has the crew helped local businesses, but some have also helped Newton County through taxes.
"Some of them have moved to the area, so that means they are now paying property taxes here," Lowery said. "It's a good thing."
In July, 5,411 people visited Covington, according to the Covington/Newton County Visitor Information Center. Lowery stated that tourists "love coming here."
Not all tourists, who visit Covington, stay in Atlanta, according to Lowery. She estimated that 95% of the tourists stay in Covington during their trip.
"They don't stay one day; they stay three, four, five days," Lowery said. "That means that whole time they are buying gas here, they are eating here and they are shopping here. Hotel, motel tax - a lot of people don't realize that's what keeps their taxes down. It's a good little circle of life thing."
Lowery expects 3,000 people, if not more, in attendance for the premiere party for "Legacies" season two, which will be held Thursday, Oct. 10 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Covington.