HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (7/30/13) - "This Old 'Witch' Makes Horror Flicks" is a completely uncensored look at independent horror film making. PJ Woodside is one of the masterminds behind Big Biting Pig Productions, an internationally recognized, but locally-based independent movie company that films entirely in Hopkins County, KY. For a sneak peak behind the scenes, read on. (Note: some content may not be suitable for a younger audience)
Okay, so even though we (Big Biting Pig Productions) make movies and I even gave two of our movies to Norman Reedus when I met him at a conference, I still get a little starstruck when it comes to The Walking Dead. So when Felicia Stewart and I were asked to give a workshop in Atlanta recently, we decided we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the town where The Walking Dead’s Woodbury is filmed, which is about an hour south of Atlanta.
As you can tell from the pics, we had a fun time visiting there. They don’t give tours (at least they didn’t this particular day), but they are definitely prepared for tourists. The town is clean and picture perfect and has lots of places to park. It’s a simple matter to walk from one end of town to the other, basically from the railroad tracks up through the divided main street for about three blocks.
The town is called Senoia and has appeared in 15 or so movies starting with Driving Miss Daisy. An Atlanta branch of Raleigh Studios is nearby, which I’m sure has something to do with location deals in the area. The prison from The Walking Dead is somewhere in the vicinity but is not open to tourists. Herschel’s house is also in the region. You can go to this site to find other locations - Map of Walking Dead locations.
The upper end of town, around the water tower, is all original. The lower end, which is what you see beyond where Felicia is lying on the ground above, was created for the show. One side of the street has a large old building, but the other side, the one you’re looking at here, was just empty land before the show bought it. We talked with the girl working in the ice cream shop and she said she’s lived there all her life, and it used to be “pretty dead” down at that end, as she described it. Some of the shops along that stretch are real, but some of them are just facades or unused when there’s no filming. In the photo below you can see the back of this stretch of property. The metal building to the right represents the back of the farthest right buildings in the top photo.
Now I’m not so much of a geek that I hunted through stills from The Walking Dead and tried to match them with the town, but I feel sure some of these spots are familiar, including the two below. Didn’t Andrea talk to Milton in this quaint alley?
Didn’t something terrible happen in the building below? (Btw, Felicia is trouble. You should know this.)
In any event, we had a blast while we were there. We had lunch, bought t-shirts, and scouted pretty much every inch of the downtown. We found out they had filmed there just two days before (darn our timing), and would likely be filming more.
I’m almost glad they weren’t filming, though. I know what a film set looks like. What was unique for me was spending time in a real life place that represents a fictional environnment so real to me that I almost felt I could turn around at any moment and see a zombie climbing over a wall. It was ordinary in one sense, but magical in another. It exists as Senoia, but also as Woodbury. It is imbued with story.
I felt like a total fan. And I loved it.
Lucid is now on DVD and can be found at http://bigbitingpigproductions.com/LucidDVD.html.
PJ Woodside is the writer and director of Lucid, which features Bill Johnson and will be released in 2013. She is co-producer of Spirit Stalkers and six other movies with Steve Hudgins of Big Biting Pig Productions, and owner of PJ’s Productions. More from PJ's official blog can be found here.
Sugg Street Post
Written by PJ Woodside
Photos provided by PJ Woodside