HBO's 'Warm Springs' Showcases Warm Springs and More
By Alison Tyrer of GDEcD
Apr 22, 2005, 20:44

Georgia Film, Video & Music Office Worked Closely with Producers to Showcase Peach State

Atlanta, GA -- With HBO's "Warm Springs" scheduled to air April 30, the Georgia Film, Video & Music Office is pleased to share with the world the intriguing sites and stories of Warm Springs, Ga. A division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the office worked closely with HBO for more than a year to capture the historic significance of the area and showcase other treasures around the state.

HBO initially contacted the office in October 2003. In the following months, executive producer Celia Costas, producer Chrisann Verges and director Joseph Sargent, who had all worked in Georgia on previous occasions, corresponded frequently with the office and returned for subsequent site visits throughout the state.

As a result of these visits, several Georgia locations are featured in the film. The Georgia film office worked closely with both the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which administers the Little White House historic site, and the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, which continues to treat patients today, to ensure an accurate representation of the movie's namesake. Additionally, Bonar Hall in Madison, the train depot in Summerville, Glenridge Hall in Sandy Springs and the Academy of Medicine and Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta all make cameo appearances.

The office also provided historic photographs to HBO's art department; coordinated a meeting between actor Kenneth Branagh and local historians to help him capture President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's manner of speaking; secured production space and hotel rooms; and served as an ongoing resource to the HBO team.

"This film has supported countless jobs during its production - employing Georgia location scouts, production crew members and others for more than a year - and produced considerable revenue for the state," Film, Video & Music Office Director Greg Torre said. "The benefits will far outlast the shooting, though. 'Warm Springs' portrays a truly unique Georgia story and is certain to attract visitors to the area, demonstrating the growing synergy between our film and tourism industries."

Established in 1973 as one of the first offices of its kind in the nation, the Georgia Film, Video & Music Office provides a variety of services to filmmakers, including helping them identify sites that correspond with their scripts; maintaining a collection of more than 100,000 images of the state; publishing an annual sourcebook of Georgia's production staff, technical crews, equipment suppliers and other talent; and serving as a conduit to local communities.

The story of Georgia's Little White House already draws more visitors each year than any other historic site in the state. Visitors tour Roosevelt's charming cottage, guest house and servants' quarters, left much as they were in 1945 when he suffered a stroke while posing for the "Unfinished Portrait" still on display today. In April 2004, DNR opened a new museum there chronicling Roosevelt's life, his role in the country's recovery from the Great Depression, his leadership during World War II and his personal struggle with polio. This 11,000-square-foot museum features Roosevelt's hand- controlled 1938 Ford convertible, the stagecoach he used during parades, "Fireside Chats" playing on a 1930s radio, a film narrated by Walter Cronkite and the naturally warm spring water that first brought Roosevelt to Georgia.

Additionally, neighboring Pine Mountain's F.D. Roosevelt State Park owes its existence to Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corp, or CCC, which put many back to work following the Depression. The park is home to Dowdell's Knob, the president's favorite picnic spot and frequent escape from the pressures of World War II, and is currently raising funds to place a bronze statue of him nearby.

Many credit Roosevelt's stay in Warm Springs with some of the landmark policies of his administration. It was there that he learned of the struggles of rural Americans and developed ideas for New Deal programs such as the Rural Electrification Administration, which brought affordable power to rural areas.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development is the state's sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, promoting the state as a location for film and video projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.

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