‘Walking Dead’ to film in Grantville Cemetery
by W. Winston Skinner
“The Walking Dead” will be returning to Grantville in a couple of weeks to film scenes in the city cemetery.
Mike Riley, location manager for the series, updated the Grantville City Council on plans at the council meeting on Monday. This is the fourth season for the series, which has filmed at several Coweta County sites — including in Senoia and Grantville.
During the meeting in council chambers at the Glanton Municipal Complex, Riley told the council the production company would like to "utilize the cemetery here in Grantville for one of our episodes." Riley said he understands that cemeteries are important places to people, and he promised filming would be done in a respectful way. "We don't have the specific date yet, but it’s toward the end of October, the first of November,” Riley said.
"I appreciate your comments about the sensitivity of filming in the cemetery,” Councilwoman Selma Coty told Riley. She said she had talked with City Attorney Mark Mitchell about the issue and about how holders of cemetery lots would feel about a zombie movie being filmed there.
"Those — to my mind — are private property,” Coty said. She said Mitchell had told her that was not the case.
“What they’re buying is the right to inter someone's remains there. There's no private property right there,” Mitchell told the council. “I don't see that there's anything contained in the deed … that would hinder your decision to allow them this opportunity." "Will you have to close any of the streets?" Councilwoman Rochelle Jabaley asked. Riley said he did not think the street would need to be closed, but said "intermittent traffic control" might need to be used.
Riley said “Walking Dead” has a post-apocalyptic setting — which has created some minor issues. "People in Coweta County are really good about cutting their grass,” he said. "I've been chasing lawnmowers."
He asked the city to hold off on maintenance of the cemetery until after filming and said the company would provide reimbursement for lost wages or other costs.
Jabaley made a motion to grant the request, which was seconded by Johnny Cooks and passed unanimously.
Jabaley also talked about the popularity of “Walking Dead” and of tours of sites from the series that are being given by Grantville Mayor Jim Sells. On a recent weekend morning, she said she encountered two tour buses with 65 people each.
The 130 visitors were “prancing around town, looking at the ‘Walking Dead’ scenery,” she said. "That was amazing to me."
She recommended anyone who has not taken Sells’ tour do so.
"You should really go on the tour,” Jabaley said. “You'll be amazed."