It can be a bummer when the neighborhood pool has to close for a week in the heat of July.
But when it’s closed so movie stars like Jane Lynch and Larry David can film a scene for the upcoming remake of “The Three Stooges,” well, that’s not too bad.
The Farrelly Brothers comedy is just one of the many feature films and TV shows that are using Atlanta homes and businesses as a backdrop during filming this summer.
Generous tax breaks have lured the film industry to the state, making Georgia one of the top locations in the nation. Tammy Connell, former president of the Huntcliff Club, said the pool will be filmed for a scene in “The Three Stooges,” portraying a recreation area at an orphanage. The neighborhood clubhouse will be used for hair, makeup and wardrobe, Connell said.
“It’s only two days of filming, but it’s very exciting for us,” Connell said.
Connell said Huntcliff residents don’t seem to mind that film crews will be moving in trailers and equipment for a weekend.
“It’s a little bit of an inconvenience not being able to use the pool for a week, but they all agree that it’s fun your pool is going to be in a major motion picture. Of course, they’ve all offered themselves up as extras,” Connell added with a laugh.
The Stooges crew has also been spotted filming at a mansion on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead.
This is the first time Huntcliff will be featured on the big screen, but Club Drive in Brookhaven is becoming something of a Hollywood staple.
The Historic Brookhaven neighborhood has been featured in four films and the USA Network series “Necessary Roughness” is currently filming nearby.
Frank Clementi, president of the Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood Association, said the industry has been very kind to the neighborhood group.
“The general feeling is that they’re very respectful of the neighborhood and very respectful of working with us,” Clementi said. “They contact the neighborhood association and make a donation to the association, and it varies as far as how long they’ve been in the neighborhood. But that helps with the relationship and we also work with them in sending out broadcast emails to the neighborhood about traffic and when shooting is going to occur.”
Last year, about 100 residents, including Clementi and his son, had the opportunity to be extras in a scene depicting a backyard barbecue in the movie “Life As We Know It,” starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel.
“It was fantastic. He played football during one of the breaks with Josh Duhamel,” Clementi said.
Clementi said he was amazed by the amount of detail that goes into film making.
“The street scene they filmed for ‘Life As We Know It,’ a guy told me he was responsible for how the smoke looked coming off the barbecue. That was his job, to keep the smoke looking authentic,” Clementi said.
Clementi isn’t sure why his neighborhood has become such a popular location for film crews, but he believes it has to do with the beauty of the historic community.
“They said what they love about Club Drive is the variety of the homes and the look and feel of the homes – that are all different and also the width of the street,” Clementi said. “They like the beauty of it, the character of it and the historic nature of it, too.”
Sandy Springs resident Ellen Lewis said the filming of the American Pie sequel “American Reunion” in her neighborhood was more than just a novelty.
“They sent us some paperwork and said you don’t have to do anything, but we’re potentially creating an inconvenience for you so we’re willing to pay you $500 for that inconvenience,” Lewis said. “So we signed the papers and they brought a check.”
Other than a few trucks in the cul-de-sac, Lewis said she didn’t notice any other disturbance. “It was just a nice little gift from the production company,” she said.
Area businesses are also getting a share of the spotlight.
Bridals By Lori in Sandy Springs is being featured on the series: “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” and “Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids.”
The reality series about selecting the perfect wedding and bridesmaids dresses has been great for business, said owner Lori Allen.
“It’s been really good because in the down economy, it’s advertising for your company and it gets your name out there,” Allen said. “We hear it all the time. Most of our customers coming in are saying ‘We saw the show.’”
Allen said it has been difficult at times to balance running her business while filming a TV show. She said they typically film in the mornings and when the shop is closed, instead of during peak business hours.
Customers have been very understanding, she said.
“They love the fact that our store is on national TV. It gives us credibility,” Allen said. “It instills confidence in the customer and they say we know what we’re talking about, because we wouldn’t have a TV show if we didn’t.”
She believes the show is also good for the community as a whole.
“I think it only builds credibility for Atlanta about what a great city it is,” Allen said. “It’s about time, the whole world doesn’t revolve around New York or Los Angeles. We’re a huge city with incredible diversity … it just shows what we have to offer. I think it can only do wonderful things for our city.”