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Old NHS to live on ... in the movies
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Filming will go beyond the square this fall.

The Newton County Board of Education agreed at its Tuesday meeting to allow “Barely Lethal,” a production company, to use the former Newton High School for filming.

According to its application, Barely Lethal will use the high school, at 140 Ram Drive, to prepare, wrap and film scenes for a movie, and to stage equipment and personnel while filming. Craig Lockhart, Newton County School System deputy superintendent, said the contract is for $30,000.

Filming is set to take place through Nov. 20, on a 4 a.m.–10 p.m. schedule. The school’s auditorium, the principal’s office, gymnasium, hallway lockers, classrooms, cafeteria, kitchen and parking lot will be used during filming.

According to information from, an online movie database, the film by Barely Lethal is about a 16-year-old international assassin, yearning for a “normal” adolescence, who fakes her own death and then enrolls as a senior in a suburban high school. Some websites are reporting the film will also be called “Barely Lethal.’’ Set to be released in 2014, it will star actors Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba and Hailee Steinfeld.

Lockhart said James Woodard, Newton College and Career Academy principal, supports the use of the facilities agreement and is working diligently with Barely Lethal to plan the endeavor around school system activities.

In addition, Lockhart said set visits are being arranged for select NCCA students to observe film production.

The BOE also approved contract discussions about a proposed lease agreement that would allow Covington-based Triple Horse Studios to use the former Newton High School’s gymnasium for long-term filming of a movie and for television filming.

The BOE voted 4-1 to allow Lockhart to discuss entering an agreement with Triple Horse. Board member Eddie Johnson abstained from the vote.

Karl Horstmann, president and founder of Triple Horse Studios, said in a proposal to NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey and Lockhart that a production company based in Los Angeles has inquired about leasing 8,500 square feet of stage space with production services needed to accommodate that size production for 10 months or longer.

“Our proposal would be to acquire a lease option for the gymnasium wing for a 12-month period to aggressively pursue projects that would be convertible to a longer-term lease once a client is secured,” Horstmann wrote in his proposal.

Hortsmann wrote that an assessment of the building concluded that the gymnasium could work for these productions with a few modifications, such as adding a large entryway with an access ramp on the outside of the building; hanging a retractable acoustic treatment and pipe grid; adding additional power and portable, additional air-conditioning units; adding a security fence around the gym parking lot; and building separating walls in the lower level of the gym for producer offices.

Horstmann’s Triple Horse Studios also plans to work closely with NCCA students and the community to develop the filming industry workforce in Newton County by providing internships to students in the school system.

Horstmann proposed that Triple Horse Atlanta partner with the Newton County Board of Education to continue using the facility beyond actual production bookings, for hands-on training, teaching and tutoring.

“With the influx of the film industry into Georgia, the studio in the county or city that can provide the most experienced workers will be in high demand,” Horstmann wrote. “We believe this school facility, leased by Triple Horse Studios Atlanta, is the ideal partnership between education and the emerging workforce.”