DreamWorks’ Need for Speed in Macon
Macon will be the site for principal photography for the DreamWorks Studios film “Need for Speed,” based off the popular racing videogame franchise. According to an article published in the Macon Telegraph on March 19, shooting for the film will begin mid-April.
The same article mentioned information about casting and other work opportunities planned for release closer to shooting time. The cast of the film includes Aaron Paul, Michael Keaton, Dominic Cooper, and Imogen Poots with direction by Scott Waugh, who previously directed “Act of Valor.”
According to Elliot Dunwoody who serves on the Macon Film Commission, the commission worked with the production company for a few months before the announcement.
“The Film Commission started working with scouts about six months ago. It became clear that they would be coming to Macon about three months ago,” said Dunwoody.
Dunwoody went on to say that the company behind the film chose Macon mainly for the reputation it has developed among filmmakers as a “film friendly area.”
“The [members of the] Film Commission board are all film professionals, and we are able to work with their scouts to find the best locations. The city of Macon has shown that we want films to be shot here, and we work well with the producers,” said Dunwoody.
Many films are now being shot in Georgia due to the Georgia Tax Film Credit, which provides a 20 percent tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in Georgia. Another 10 percent is given to companies that include a promotional logo provided by the state in the finished product.
The Macon Film Commission’s goal is to get more films shot outside of Atlanta, said Dunwoody.
“Need for Speed” is currently being filmed in Mendocino, Calif., north of the Bay Area of San Francisco. Filming should start moving toward Macon near the end of next week.
The filming will take place in Macon for about two and a half weeks, before moving to Atlanta, Columbus, the North Georgia area and then the Mid-West.
“We are all very excited that Macon is becoming a major location in Georgia. We are continually trying to attract more films here,” said Dunwoody.
Most of the filming is planned to take place at night, scenes consisting mostly of cars and racing.
Dunwoody also said man vendors from Macon would be involved with the filming. Opportunities for extras and local residents who want to help with different production jobs will be available during filming.
However, Dunwoody said, since this is a major film production, most of the crew is going to be made up of union people.
According to an article on WMAZ, a company named Tammy Smith Casting is putting out the call for precision drivers for the film. The company, based in Atlanta and Los Angeles, says filming will take place between April 23 and June. More information is available on Tammy Smith’s website.
“Need for Speed” is only the most recent film to be shot in Macon.
In the past year, Macon’s Luther Williams historic baseball field was the shooting location for the films “Trouble with the Curve” and “42.”
Dunwoody said only a few scenes were originally planned to be shot in Macon, but after the scouts saw the historic architecture of Macon, they decided to expand their shooting schedule.