Rockdale may be small in size, but the county is poised to play a huge part in Georgia’s $2.4 billion film industry that is fueling economic growth and creating jobs locally.
Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council representative Gina Hartsell told a group of leaders at the Rockdale Coalition of Homeowners and Civic Associations meeting Wednesday night that Rockdale County’s reputation as a friendly and accommodating community has made a lasting impression on production companies who repeatedly return here to film.
“We are building the workforce here and that is another big incentive for the film industry to bring their projects here,” said Hartsell, who is the camera ready liaison for Rockdale County. “They hire their crews here in Georgia and typically work with a lot of the same people over and over again so we are building our network.”
Hartsell said her office is currently working with four major film studios looking for locations in the community. Over the past decade, 17 major films have used locations in Rockdale, including “Ten,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, that recently filmed for two weeks in Wellington Estates and the Warner Brothers thriller “Prisoners,” starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, that has been filming extensively throughout Rockdale from January to March. The Economic Development Council has worked with producers and directors to organize casting events, and a growing database of local workforce talent and vendors has been generated to provide recommendations to the film companies.
To list your Conyers-Rockdale County property (residential, commercial or industrial), email Hartsell at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, property address, property description, cell phone number and several photos. A website will be set up by April 1 for direct submissions.
“We appreciate the community’s involvement in all the projects,” Hartsell said. “They keep coming back because they enjoy being here. They say the people are friendly and it is very easy for them to accommodate the requests that come from their producers at the last minute.”
Attendees also received information on various topics including property tax issues, fire safety, water resources and various services offered through the Clerk of Superior and State Court’s office.
Storm drain project
Local residents have a new opportunity to contribute to improving Rockdale County’s water quality by participating in the storm drain stenciling project. Stormwater engineer Erik Lombard said his department is seeking volunteers to attach “no dumping” decals to all storm drains in the county.
Stormwater Utility will provide all training and materials. Interested participants can call 770-278-7142 for further details.
Clerk of Courts Office
The Clerk’s office is now offering a Property Check/Mortgage Fraud Protection service that will notify property owners when anything is filed against their property. Clerk of Courts Ruth Wilson said registration for the free service is available at rockdaleclerk.com.
Free, 30-minute legal consultations on Fridays, 9 a.m. to noon, is also being offered by the Clerk’s office through the Family Law Information Center for help with matters including adoptions, support, alimony, divorce, paternity, wills and estates.