With a booming TV and film industry statewide, Milledgeville wants a piece.
There’s a film festival coming this spring and several small independent productions utilizing local sites.
A recent casting call for a popular vampire television series revealed another check to the community’s entertainment resume.
The CW television show “The Originals” is coming to Central State Hospital’s campus next week. According to three casting calls for extras posted two weeks ago, the show will shoot at the Jones Building Jan. 8 through 10.
According to Tammy Smith Casting-Atlanta, the show was looking for several different characters for a 1920s flashback/hallucination scene in an old sanitarium.
The show is casting a set of young twin boys, along with other men and women of multiple ethnicities to look like mental patients.
CSH administration said this TV hit could have a major impact on the campus and city alike.
“That’s been in the works for awhile. The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities approved it. We are excited to have a production company on our campus,” Regional Hospital Administrator Dan Howell said. “We are happy to accommodate. It’s a small economic boom for the City of Milledgeville.”
Howell said production scouts liked what they saw at CSH.
“They fell in love with the campus and were really impressed,” he said. “The scouts came to visit four times in a two-week period. They looked at a number of buildings and determined that the Jones Building would meet their needs.”
“The Originals” premiered on The CW after “The Vampire Diaries” on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013.
The spin-off series focuses an original vampire family from Vampire Diaries and is set in New Orleans, according to the website IMDb.
The one-hour show’s website provides a plot overview.
“Family is power. The Original Vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together, always and forever. Now, centuries have passed, and the bonds of family are broken. Time, tragedy and hunger for power have torn the Original Family apart,” the site states.
The cast includes former Teen Choice Award nominee Joseph Morgan, who continues his role of Niklaus Mikaelson from “The Vampire Diaries.” Among his film credits are “Alexander,” starring Angelina Jolie and Colin Farrell, and “Immortals.”
Actors Daniel Gillies and Claire Holt appear as Mikaelson’s older brother Elijah and sister Rebekah reprising their Vampire Diaries’ roles for this popular follow-up series.
Howell hopes the TV attention drives CSH to become an industry hotbed.
“To my knowledge there are three or four others in the works right now,” Howell said. “I’d take the approach that once one company comes others will be interested because word will get out.”
He said it took “about a six to eight week process” to get nab the CW scene, which the administrator hopes will conveniently shrink to meet a film ready climate.
As the almost vacant hospital ground begins the repurposing process started by a tasked development authority, Howell likes the film and TV consideration.
“We want to make sure we are good stewards of the buildings left on our campus, but also respectful and helpful to the city when we start transitioning,” Howell said.