If you have been on the island recently, you can’t help but notice that TCF International Productions, Inc., a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (Fox) has begun work for the feature film, X-Men: First Class.  I would like to share with you important items regarding this project and the agreements made between the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) and Fox.  
Around the beginning of September, location scouts for Fox were given a tour of the island to explore shoot locations for the feature film X-Men: First Class. The film was planning to use locations in Tybee Island and Thunderbolt near Savannah. Upon seeing opportunities on Jekyll Island, location managers for Fox formally requested the use of two locations for filming on Jekyll Island and the use of the parking lot at Summer Waves Water Park for staging and rehearsal.
Fox representatives were already working with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regarding permissions and permits that would be required for filming in the coastal area.  The JIA along with DNR gave consent for Fox to scout four beach sites on Jekyll Island; and Fox ultimately decided on the site between the Jekyll Island Club Beach Pavilion and the Beachview Shops. Fox has secured all required DNR permits and approvals to utilize the beach area which required Fox to construct a temporary bike detour.  The film is certified by the Georgia Department of Economic Development – Office of Film, Music and Digital Entertainment and was recruited to the state for its positive economic impact.
The location agreement between Fox and the JIA has several important provisions. Under the Letter of Permission provided by DNR, Fox submitted an acceptable environmental plan that requires the site to be returned at a minimum to its previous condition. The sand being brought onto the site is required to be beach quality and was tested and approved as such by DNR. The JIA will be giving Fox a partial credit for this sand, which may be useful to actually enhance the condition of the site once the movie production concludes.
JIA staff along with DNR are working on a plan that will potentially take this area that was unnaturally graded flat in the 1950’s and introduce a more natural secondary dune field. Similar to a dune restoration project that was completed several years ago, the sand would be used to create low-height dunes as not to obscure the beautiful ocean vistas from the road, and native plantings would be added to create natural wildlife habitat and natural stability. Landscape Superintendent Cliff Gawron and Georgia Sea Turtle Center Director Terry Norton are both involved in this planning. While the project plan still must be completed and be approved under the Shoreline Protection Act, we think there is exciting potential to improve this area and return it to a more natural and beautiful condition.
I realize that some may feel that filming has created another “construction zone” on the island, but I assure you that the benefits far outweigh the costs.  Filming scenes for a major motion picture on Jekyll Island not only provides a significant economic opportunity for the island, but the entire coastal Georgia region in general. Production crews of several hundred will stay on the island and use our hotels during what is typically a very slow season. Restaurants and shops will all benefit from the additional people on the island and will provide a nice business boost at a time when we all need it.
Movie production is also good for the area and state’s economy as Georgia companies will be tapped to provide some $20 million in services and supplies for this one movie. Many other organizations are involved including the City of Brunswick and the Georgia Ports Authority.
The JIA takes its stewardship mission very seriously, and I think you will see that the Fox movie production deal is a great opportunity to boost business while at the same time provide resources to further enhance a natural area. It may cause some disruption, and I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. And just like all of our valued guests, we will treat Fox production crew and actors to renowned southern hospitality so they will leave and tell the world what a beautiful and friendly place Jekyll Island is.


C. Jones Hooks
Executive Director, The Jekyll Island Authority

This message was sent from Jones Hooks to degan@igc.org. It was sent from: Jekyll Island, 100 James Rd., Jekyll Island, GA 31527. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.

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