HOLLYWOOD IN TOCCOA
Toccoa is just about ready to get its own “HOLLYWOOD”-style letter sign. For much of cinema history, the West Coast, specifically California, has been home to most movie studios and filming locations.
Now, and for the past two years, Georgia has surpassed California and is the number one place in the world to do business in the film industry.
According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, just in the fiscal year 2017, film and TV production had an economic impact in Georgia of $9.5 billion.
Toccoa has seen quite a bit of the filmmaking business. Not only due to the natural beauty of our community, picturesque downtown with quaint shops and restaurants, historic courthouse, beautiful pastures, lakes, rivers and rolling hills, farming homesteads with a variety of barns and original outbuildings, and the list goes on, Toccoa has become a prime scouting location for reps in the film industry.
Toccoa-Stephens County is a Georgia Camera Ready Community and has been home base for six film projects in the past three years.
Some of those films include Heritage Falls, County Line, Legal Action, The Legend of Five Mile Cave, and When We Last Spoke. All of which have brought well-known actors such as Melissa Gilbert, Cloris Leachman, Corbin Bernsen, David Keith, Tom Wopat, Jeff Fahey, Grant Goodeve, Eric Close, Tommy Flanagan, Adam Baldwin, Jill Wagner, and Jet Jurgensmeyer to Toccoa.
Charlie Fitzpatrick (David Keith) is the most successful high school basketball coach in Georgia history. While many of his players think of him as a father, his relationship with his own “bookworm” son, Evan (Coby Ryan McLaughlin), is strained. With the help of his wife, Laura (Nancy Stafford) and Evan’s wife, Heather (Sydney Penny), Charlie determines the best way to connect and bond is to take his son and grandson, Markie (Keean Johnson), who has just announced he’s dropping out of college to tour with his folk band, to a rustic mountain cabin for a weekend retreat. Only this cabin is the same site where he took his many winning teams to test their mettle over a grueling military-style obstacle course, the same one Evan, as a student never got the chance to complete. This is Charlie’s idea of fun, Evan’s idea of a nightmare, and Markie’s idea of—well he’s young and idealistic; he’s just going with the flow.
Over the course of three days, through hilarious moments, soul-searching moments and one experience that frightens them all to the core, the men discover what it means to be a father, a son, a grandfather, how deeply their lives are entwined with each other—and just how similar they really are.
When his best friend, Sheriff Clint Thorne (Jeff Fahey), is brutally gunned down, former neighboring county sheriff, Alden Rockwell (Tom Wopat) is left with many questions and no answers. After the investigation stalls and his replacement, Sheriff Preston (Grant Goodeve) turns a blind eye, Alden takes the case into his own hands.
Uncovering a web of crime, deceit, and corruption that spreads through two counties, Alden is caught in a deadly criminal network with no backup, no badge, and local diner owner, Maddie (Patricia Richardson) as his only ally.
Seeking justice at any cost, Alden must find out who’s behind this criminal enterprise, even if some lines must be crossed.
Big-city lawyer Casey McKay (Eric Close), a winner with a long hot streak, didn’t expect the mysterious text from his ex-wife, Pru (Tanya Clarke), about her brother, Jay. No stranger to being on the wrong side of the law, Jay is accused of murdering a District Attorney. Casey takes the case, but soon discovers this will be no ordinary legal defense.
Teaming up with eccentric ex-marine turned motel owner and P.I. “Ex” Clemens (Nick Searcy), he discovers a web of conspiracy that puts him face-to-face with the town’s most greedy and corrupt land developer, Mr. Gates (Tommy Flanagan).
As Casey begins to unravel the truth, he finds himself fighting for his former brother-in-law’s life, as well as his own.
When We Last Spoke
With heart, humor and some wonderful musical interludes, When We Last Spoke is a story set in the south in 1966 about a lovable but quirky family who’ve had more than their fair share of hard times. Two resilient and independent little girls, Juliet and Evangeline Cranbourne take us on a journey of tears and laughter as they deal with being abandoned by their mother and the untimely death of their father in war torn Vietnam. The girl’s grandparents, Walt and Ruby share a deep loving relationship, which is somewhat interrupted when they accept their forced upon role as guardians. To further their challenges, they are surprised soon after by another arrival at their doorstep … Walt’s aging and delusional mother.
Fast-forward to the mid-nineties, where the estranged sisters are not on speaking terms and in need of a good dose of Walt and Ruby’s wisdom. When We Last Spoke is a timeless story packed with rich characters and reflect the things that matter most—family, friends, love, and forgiveness.
Legend of 5 Mile Cave
A boy enchanted with tales from the Old West unlocks a mystery that could save their family farm. While his widowed mother struggles to avoid foreclosure, a mysterious stranger arrives looking for a room to rent.
A bond with the boy grows as the drifter recounts breathtaking stories of Shooter Green, a legendary gunslinger accused of Arizona’s biggest gold robbery. The truth is revealed, along with the secret of the drifter’s past when a lawman appears, hot on the trail of the stolen gold.
Past and present collide in this tale of action, adventure and drama. Stars Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan, Soul Surfer), Jill Wagner (Braven, Christmas Cookies), Adam Baldwin(The Last Ship, Full Metal Jacket, The Patriot), and Jet Jurgensmeyer (Last Man Standing, American Sniper).
Movies filmed in Toccoa have premiered on Inspiration Network (INSP), Netflix, Amazon, and other means of distribution.
According to the production company executives who have produced films in Toccoa, what makes these films truly unique in our homegrown community is how hospitable and supportive the people and civic leadership of Toccoa-Stephens County are to them. Our people come in droves to be extras in the films. They enjoy being involved and wearing period-appropriate attire. We have quite a collection of vintage automobiles right here in our area, and oftentimes, local homes are utilized for cast and crew.
Our downtown businesses have been used as filming locations, for serving the cast and crew, building props, managing wardrobe, and other logistical needs for the sets. The Historic Ritz Theatre has served as the premiere location for two of the films, with more scheduled for the future. Our hotels, conference centers, restaurants, local retailers, as well as residents, all benefit from the investment made in our community during the preparation, shooting, and wrap up of each film project in Toccoa-Stephens County.
The film production crews keep coming back to Toccoa, not only because of the natural beauty, but because of the amazing people who make our community a great place to do business and a greater place to do life! Come on downtown to Toccoa so you can see what keeps them coming back!