Buford is no stranger to television and movie productions using the city’s picturesque downtown and the surrounding area to provide a perfect backdrop. Even before Georgia became the new Hollywood, movies were being filmed in the state and even in Buford. Now that the film industry in Georgia has surpassed California for the most feature films produced overall, production companies have scoured the state and Buford has been tapped for filming locations on numerous projects.
On Wednesday, March 17, the Emmy award-winning Netflix series, “Ozark” filmed scenes along Main Street in Historic Downtown Buford.
“Ozark” is a crime drama starring Jason Bateman and it is centered around a Chicago family that had to relocate to the Ozarks due to money laundering. The series has been filmed primarily at locations on Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier, however, a few scenes have been filmed specifically in Buford.
In December 2019, the show filmed along Buford Dam Road and Shadburn Ferry Road, and on Dec. 6, 2017, the Buford Grill was used as another filming location.
The recent production along Main Street caused quite a flurry of activity in downtown Buford and has been one of the most exciting events to hit town since the pandemic started. The production company started moving in its equipment on Tuesday, March 16, using the Tannery Row parking lot, as well as the square in between Garnett and Scott streets. Actual filming took place on Wednesday only. By the end of Thursday, “Ozark” had packed up and left the downtown area.
In front of the former West Main Trade coffee shop, a large sign proclaimed that Buford had temporarily become Boone, N.C. Storefronts along Main Street were transformed into businesses in the town of Boone.
One business owner along Main Street said it was fascinating to watch the hours of staging work that took place all for a few minutes of filming.
“They brought in their own cars to stage along the street and a lady from the film crew went up and down the street making sure every vehicle had a North Carolina license plate,” the business owner said.
The scenes filmed along Main Street are set to appear in the fourth and final season of “Ozark.” Season four is expected to begin airing in late 2021, although no official date has been announced by Netflix.
“Ozark” is not the only major television or movie production to use areas around Buford as a backdrop. Other television shows that have filmed in Buford are “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings” (2018), “Kim of Queens” (2013) and “My Amazing Renovation” (one episode — HGTV). Full-length movies filmed in Buford include “Six Pack” (1982), “A Simple Twist of Fate” (1994), “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005), “Blended” (2014), “A Walk in the Woods” (2015) and “All Girls Weekend” (2016). The documentary “Danger Lake” (2018) was filmed in Buford and Lake Lanier. Buford has also been the setting for numerous short films over the years.
With the movie industry in Georgia expected to continue to overshadow other film production hubs like California, there is a good chance this will not be the last Buford residents will see of film crews.