Conway, say hello to Hollywood again.
The river town will get another taste of Tinseltown next month when filming begins for the the first of three made-for-TV movies featuring Conway as the backdrop.
City officials on Monday approved a special event permit for G IT’s Entertainment, a Murrells Inlet company that has produced family-friendly flicks in the area before. Last year’s “12 Dog Days of Christmas,” which aired on the UP network the day after Thanksgiving, included scenes from Conway.
I want to do them all here in this area, specifically Conway. For at least one of the movies, [the city] has everything we’re looking for.
Ralph McCloud, executive producer, Carolina Video Group
The latest movies — “Accidental Engagement,” a romantic comedy; “The Ghost of Alice Flagg,” a love story/thriller; and “All Hallow’s Eve,” a G-rated children’s movie — will be shot primarily in Conway, unincorporated Horry County and North Myrtle Beach. Filming will begin Sept. 24 and continue through Nov. 22.
“I want to do them all here in this area, specifically Conway,” said Ralph McCloud, executive producer with Carolina Video Group, which is partnering with G IT’s on the films. “For at least one of the movies, [the city] has everything we’re looking for.”
No streets will be closed during production because most of the acting will take place inside buildings and homes. Among the sites selected for filming are the Theatre of the Republic, Dilly Beans cafe and the Brown home at the corner of 9th Avenue and Burroughs Street. Lakeside Cemetery is also being considered for the Alice Flagg film. That movie was originally set to be filmed in Georgetown County — where the Flagg legend originated — but the producers opted for Conway because the other movies will be filmed there. The crew plans to use a Styrofoam replica of Flagg’s gravestone.
Those involved with the project hope the movies will reach TV destinations such as the Lifetime Movie Network and the Disney Channel.
“These probably will not be in a theater,” McCloud said. “Because we don’t have dinosaurs and we’re not blowing stuff up.”
But will the films bring any stars to town?
McLoud said he couldn’t reveal those details yet. However, he noted that some “household names” are being courted.
While the movies may not make it to the big screen, the economic benefits of the filming will not be small, said Hillary Howard, executive director of Conway Downtown Alive, an organization that promotes the city.
Apart from the publicity the movie generates, she said the actors and crew will eat in local restaurants and sleep in area hotels.
“A direct economic impact,” she said.
Howard has worked with the same company on other films.
“Ralph and his team are professionals and experts at their craft,” she said. “Conway Downtown Alive is very excited to recommend them to the city.”
Conway officials unanimously approved the permit for the filming. The agreement allows the cast and crew to use some public parking and stipulates that a city staff member be on hand for any filming at the cemetery to monitor the property.
“We’re glad to have you operating in Conway,” Mayor Alys Lawson told McCloud. “Thank you for thinking of us.”