On Friday, September 3, SCAD Atlanta was transformed into a Hollywood movie set — red carpet and all. Several scenes from ABC Family Channel’s upcoming original movie, “Ex-mas Carol,” were shot at the 1600 building, which was made to look like a trendy PR firm in Los Angeles. “Ex-mas Carol,” a rendition of — you guessed it — Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol,” stars Mario Lopez, Chad Michael Murray, Ashley Benson and Christina Milian. To the disappointment of some female onlookers, the boys’ scenes were not shot at SCAD. “I was hoping to see Chad Michael Murrray,” exclaimed Nailah De Beatham, a fourth year television production student.
SCAD Atlanta was the final location before shooting wrapped on “Ex-mas Carol.” Other scenes were shot at Midtown hot spots Opera and Primal as well as Grady High School and the neighborhoods of Buckhead, Virginia Highlands and Castleberry Hill. When asked why he decided to shoot “Ex-mas Carol” in Atlanta, Executive Producer Craig McNeil responded, “I had been to Atlanta before … I was well aware that Atlanta had great locations and great crews … The clencher, of course, was the money … it was much cheaper to shoot [in Atlanta] because of the film incentives … which are great in Georgia.” When asked why SCAD Atlanta was specifically chosen for shooting, Location Manager Brad Smith said that the facilities “fit the bill” of a high-end LA PR firm.
With Atlanta becoming a low-cost option for many filmmakers, (the upcoming comedies “Due Date” starring Robert Downey, Jr. and “Hall Pass” starring Owen Wilson were shot here) is there a chance we may see SCAD Atlanta in a future production? According to Smith, “I wouldn’t rule anything out.”