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'Sleepy Hollow' TV production moves to Rockdale

The Headless Horseman will soon join vampires on Conyers film sets, as Fox's popular supernatural TV series "Sleepy Hollow" moves its production here.

"Sleepy Hollow" will bring about 300 jobs - most of them new and local - with a $4 million payroll in two rented spaces totaling around 200,000 square feet. The deal was announced at the May 7 meeting of the Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council board.

"It's a pretty huge production," said Gina Hartsell, CREDC's film production liaison. But, she added, "They're not really interested in filming in Olde Town Conyers," which drew some signs of relief, as the impact of other film shoots there drew strong complaints this week from local merchants. The Georgia International Horse Park is among likely outdoor filming locations, besides the rented soundstage spaces.

A thriller series set in Colonial New York State, "Sleepy Hollow" will join the vampire drama "The Originals" as another supernatural TV hit headquartered in Conyers. "The Originals" has pumped millions of dollars into the local economy, according to CREDC.

"We stole them away from North Carolina," which recently ended its film tax-credit program, said Hartsell. "Sleepy Hollow" filmed in that state for its first two seasons.

"This was a competition to land these guys," said CREDC Executive Director Marty Jones, saying "Sleepy Hollow" considered such other metro Atlanta locations as Fayetteville, home to the major Pinewood Atlanta Studios.

"Sleepy Hollow" will begin shooting its third season here in July. Jones said TV series that last this long often are renewed for at least a fourth season to ensure enough material to sell it as a rerun broadcast package. Hartsell said the production has five-year leases with hefty buy-out clauses.