One of the biggest stars in the world of entertainment is Georgia. The state’s welcoming Southern hospitality, temperate year-round climate and diverse natural landscapes have created a hotbed of thriving film and music industries. Screen Time Georgia hosts international superstars like Hugh Jackman, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Morgan Freeman, who make their temporary home here while making their latest films. Quite a few feature films are set in Georgia. Trouble with the Curve stars Clint Eastwood and tells the story of a Major League Baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves. Eastwood also directed Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was set and filmed in historic Savannah. Other movies that have been both filmed and set in the coastal town include The Legend of Bagger Vance and Forces of Nature. The flashback scenes in Forrest Gump were filmed all across the United States, but the scenes on the bus stop bench where Tom Hanks sits telling his life story to anyone who will listen were filmed on Chippewa Square. The bench is now on view at the Savannah History Museum. Just east of Savannah is Tybee Island, where The Last Song, starring Miley Cyrus, was filmed. Many of the scenes were filmed on the island’s beach and pier. The house used in the film was Adams Cottage, located on Chatham Avenue on the southern end of Tybee. What To Expect When You’re Expecting stars Cameron Diaz and follows five Atlanta couples on their way to parenthood. Scenes in the movie were shot at the city’s 189-acre Piedmont Park and nearby High Museum of Art. Driving Miss Daisy was set in Atlanta’s historic Druid Hills neighborhood. Daisy Werthan’s home is located on Lullwater Road and her synagogue can be found on Peachtree Street. In 2012, the cult-classic film Deliverance celebrated its 40th anniversary. The film introduced cinema audiences to the North Georgia mountains and inspired the film’s outfitter and stuntmen to launch white water expedition companies. The three outfitters still lead rafting, canoeing and kayaking trips down the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River from March to October. In 1991, filmmakers resurrected the ghost town of Juliette for the film, Fried Green Tomatoes. Today, Juliette is a thriving town with antique shops, movie memorabilia stores and the famous Whistle Stop Cafe. Perhaps the most famous film associated with Georgia is Gone With The Wind, although none of it was shot in the state! However, movie memorabilia and costumes are on display at the Marietta Gone With The Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square and at Jonesboro’s Road to Tara Museum. The Margaret Mitchell House and Museum in Midtown is where the author penned the legendary book on which the film was based. Georgia’s abundance of diverse landscapes— farmland, mountains, forests, beaches and wetlands—and variety of bustling cities and charming small towns, make it the perfect backdrop for blockbuster films. An abandoned train depot in Conyers played a role in the action-packed film Fast Five, and palm trees were planted on Jekyll Island to create a tropical beach in X-Men: First Class. Lawless, starring Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman, was filmed across Georgia, including in Newnan, where a general store was constructed as a film set. Historic Decatur Cemetery is where the opening and closing scenes of Remember the Titans were filmed, and Decatur's Agnes Scott College served as the backdrop for Scream 2 and The Blind Side. Buckhead, an upscale Atlanta neighbourhood that is widely to be considered the state’s shopping mecca, is where you’ll find Bill Murray’s mansion from the film Zombieland, which stars Woody Harrelson. (Action scenes were shot at Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta.) Another of Harrelson’s well-known films, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, was also shot in Atlanta. The small town of Crawfordville has been host to several feature films, including Sweet Home Alabama. Georgia also plays a role on the small screen. A record number of television series have been shot in the state, including The Walking Dead. Covington was the filming location for The Dukes of Hazzard, which was set in fictional Hazzard County, and In the Heat of the Night, which took place in a fictionalised version of Sparta, Mississippi. Music Makers Georgia has a deep-rooted musical legacy. Scores of world-renowned artists, icons and pioneers in every musical genre have called Georgia home, and the roots of many musical forms can be traced to the state. Augusta native James Brown invented funk music, and Macon native Little Richard laid the foundation for the transition from rhythm and blues (R&B) to rock and roll. In the 1960s, Albany’s Ray Charles blended country and gospel to create soul music. Otis Redding, born in Dawson and raised in Macon, was one of the most influential soul singers of the 1960s and inspired artists of all genres, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Al Green and Aretha Franklin. Atlanta’s Fiddlin’ John Carson paved the way for Georgia’s country music industry when he recorded the first country music record in 1923. Other country music artists from Georgia include legends Trisha Yearwood and Travis Tritt and current chart toppers Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Billy Currington and Brantley Gilbert. Atlanta is home to the internationally recognised Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and renowned mezzo-soprano opera singer Jennifer Larmore. The city also has a strong representation in acoustic music, thanks to Shawn Mullins and the Indigo Girls. Georgia’s list of influential artists would not be complete without mentioning legends like Motown recording artist Gladys Knight, songwriter John Herndon “Johnny” Mercer, classical singer Roland Hayes, opera star Jessye Norman and classical pianist Charles Wadsworth. Music Scenes Perhaps Georgia’s most famous music destination is Athens. For decades, the college town has produced a wealth of alternative rock bands like the B-52s, R.E.M., Pylon, Drive-By Truckers, Widespread Panic and Of Montreal. Athens hosts the annual music festival AthFest, where nearly 200 bands and artists perform in venues throughout the downtown area. Atlanta has established itself as the epicentre of the urban music industry. The city is the birthplace of crunk music and is home to some of the biggest names in hip hop and rap such as Ludacris, Lil Jon, Gucci Mane, Goodie Mob and OutKast, one of the first commercially successful hip hop groups outside New York City or Los Angeles. International star, Cee Lo Green, was born in Atlanta and maintains his headquarters here. The city hosts multiple music festivals throughout the year, including Music Midtown, which features a wide variety of bands in Piedmont Park, and the Atlanta Jazz Festival, where jazz legends and up-andcoming artists perform in venues throughout the city. Macon is considered by many to be the birthplace of Southern rock (a mix of rock and roll and the blues, with a hint of country and folk) when The Allman Brothers Band relocated there after signing with Macon’s Capricorn Records. Georgia’s largest musical arts festival is the Savannah Music Festival, which brings together more than 100 world-class classical, jazz, blues, bluegrass, country and world music musicians for live performances, film, narrative programmes and dance parties.
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