Hunger Games Fan Tour leads Georgia's new film tourism industry
Our NBC News partners at WXIA are reporting there's a new moneymaker in the Georgia film industry, and it happens well after big budget films call "that's a wrap" on production.
Film tourism is a new business seeing a boom because of Hollywood.
The Hunger Games Unofficial Fan Tour launched after "Catching Fire" was released in theaters. The tour is seeing packed crowds of people who pay almost $100 a ticket for look at where the movie was filmed.
"It's called fandamonium. Fans all over the country and the world want to go see where it was shot, they want to walk in the footsteps," said tour creator Tammy Hopkins.
She commutes from North Carolina once a week to lead the Atlanta tour. She started the Hunger Games Tour after the first movie filmed in her home state. The success there led to her new business endeavor in Atlanta.
"You learn some survival skills. You learn about filming and where it was shot and you get a taste of Hunger Games food too," she said."
The Swan House at the Atlanta History Center is also getting in on the film tourism business. Scenes in "Catching Fire" depicting President Snow's house were shot there.
"I think the biggest movie secret is not really a secret to us. It's that so much of what we have in the house looks exactly like it does on film," said tour guide Jessica VanLanduyt.
A permanent movie display has been installed at the Swan House.
"When you come view the house today it's almost like standing in that film," VanLanduyt said.
In Clayton County, a film museum and welcome center is being built. Clayton County's International Park doubled as the tropical setting for the Quarter Quell in "Catching Fire."
"Tyler Perry's done a lot of production here, commercials but this is the largest production here," explained Grant Wainscott, Director of Clayton County's Office of Economic Development.
The Goat Farm in West Midtown was the backdrop for "District 12" in the film. It was transformed into the fictional coal mining community. So much coal was delivered to the set that if you look on the ground now, months after filming, you'll see there's still pieces of it all around.
The tour attracts film fans like Alex Love. She's a teenager who wears her hair braided much like Jennifer Lawrence's "Hunger Games" character Katniss.
She took the tour to see which locations in her home city appeared in one of her favorite films.
"It was very cool to see it in the movie because I was like oh I went there and saw that," she said.
She'll have more opportunities to experience Georgia's film tourism in the coming years. With two additional "Hunger Games" films coming soon and other high profile movies filming here, more movie tours are in the works.
"As long as the movies are coming out we will keep doing the tours," Hopkins said.