Canton, GA (August 13, 2015) We have all heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” A concept that also speaks true to the making of Champion the movie, the village being Cherokee County. The Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) had the opportunity to spend some time on set with Champion, a faith-based film focusing on three main themes: fatherhood, foster care and forgiveness. In the short time spent behind the scenes it became abundantly clear that Cherokee County as a community had a huge role in bringing this project to fruition.
“This is truly a Cherokee County production,” said Steve Hyland Producer. “Since this movie was in the idea stages, our community has come together to make it happen.” In fact Hyland could not have been more complimentary of the Cherokee individuals, businesses and churches that helped bring Champion to life. He explained that along with the sponsors that provided meals and snacks, the majority of investors in the film live in Cherokee. He also credits Dixie Speedway, Capital Race Cars and First Baptist Church of Woodstock for going above and beyond in order to make this film. “We couldn’t have afforded to tell the Champion story without the generosity of these local partners,” said Hyland. Even the fire department stepped in to provide some on demand rain for a scene shot in Downtown Woodstock.
Judd Brannon, Champion Director and Hyland first sat down with COED in 2013 to learn more about the Georgia Film Production Incentives offered by the state. Incentives that Hyland said made a significant impact on this lower budget project. Governor Nathan Deal has recently reported that the Georgia film incentives, which have been heavily promoted since 2008 to attract the industry, are here to stay.
“We have enjoyed watching this film come together and were happy to help,” said Misti Martin COED President. “Cherokee has seen an increase in productions this summer—having a film like Champion that is a testament to Cherokee’s supportive community is unique,” Marshall Day COED Chairman. Champion has filmed scenes all over the county, from Waleska to Woodstock.
As Champion wraps this week, it leaves Cherokee with a sense of collaboration and determination. As film scouts and producers look at Cherokee in the future, we can tell the story of Champion, where the community came together in the name of faith and partnership to make this film a reality.