Film in FOCO

It seems as if every year, dozens of new shows and movies pop onto our screens and take audiences’ attention. Characters people believe they embody and made-up towns that resemble the streets of suburbia. Relatability has become a necessity for success in film productions, and authenticity has been identified as the road toward critical acclaim, sparkling trophies, and millions of dollars worth of screenings. What’s more authentic than filming and producing a movie or show about American culture in a suburb like Forsyth County? 

Staples of the Forsyth County community have become popular areas for filming. Lake Lanier, for example, has been the setting for six seasons of Ozark: a show about how a regular family man becomes involved with a Mexican drug cartel through money-laundering schemes. One of the reasons the show is so popular is because it shows the extremities of greed that exist within the lives of regular America

ns, and Lanier provides the perfect setting for such an adventurous story to take place. Denmark itself has also been featured as the fictional school Blissfield Valley High in the horror comedy Freaky

starring Katherine Newton and Vince Vaughn. The horror-comedy takes place in a small town whose only history extends to the legend of a sinister killer known as the Blissfield Butcher. Though he seems to have disappeared after murdering a group of teenagers, he emerges once again after stabbing a teenage girl, Millie, with a mystical knife. And of course—because the knife possesses magic powers and the Freaky Friday trope never gets old—the Butcher and Millie end up switching bodies. During the fall semester of 2019, Denmark was filled with trailers, equipment, catering trucks, numerous cameramen, producers, and actors. The doors to the theater and 1650 hallway were closed shut, barring students from taking a peek at the production.

No group of students at Denmark High School knows about the importance of film better than the members of the Film Analysis Club. They watch complex films and analyze the director’s decisions and the message they’re trying to convey. Club member Abby Rossignol discusses the importance of film, saying, “Film is important because it broadens our knowledge of different cultures and ideas.” Diversity in movies and television allows people from all walks of life to see and perhaps understand the experiences of others. Relatability also improves the watchability of film productions. “Most people have a favorite character because they can relate to [them],” Abby says. “Maybe because the character goes through something similar to what the viewer [has] and they can find some comfort in that.”

It’s likely that most people haven’t gotten into an entanglement with Mexican drug cartels or laundered thousands of dollars, but most people, at a certain point, have felt trapped within the smallness of their lives. Shows like Ozark provide excitement in a place as normal as one’s hometown. 

The more productions Forsyth County hosts, the more it benefits the community. Abby believes that with the establishment of Atlanta as a film-making center, there will be more opportunities for “filming committees to make [their] way to Forsyth County.” 

Whether a production falls under the horror, drama, or action umbrellas, Forsyth County can create an environment for just about any American-based film. Again and again, this county has shown great growth in several industries, the movie and TV show sector could be another successful facet of the community.