Lifetime TV pilot shoots at Hay House

pramati@macon.comOctober 30, 2012 

Film crews for a TV pilot have taken over the Hay House for the next couple of days.

20th Century Fox and Pacific 2.1 are filming the pilot for “The Witches of East End,” which stars Julia Ormond and Glenne Headly in an adaptation of the book of the same name by Melissa de la Cruz, said Kelly Manners, the line producer for the pilot.

The pilot is being shot for Lifetime Television, Manners said. He said Lifetime will likely make a decision in January or February whether the network will pick up the pilot and order the series.

The Hay House interior is being used by the crew, since the script called for an interior of a mansion, Manners said. The museum is closed through at least Thursday. Production staff spent Tuesday setting up the interior for shooting, and scenes will be shot Wednesday and Thursday.

Macon police directed traffic Tuesday at the intersection of Spring Street and Georgia Avenue while the crew unloaded equipment from the trucks.

Manners said he has been to Macon in the past and filmed a roller derby scene here for the USA Network’s TV series “Necessary Roughness” a few months ago.

“We were going to shoot (“Witches of East End”) at the Biltmore estate in Asheville, N.C., but that fell through,” Manners said. “We needed a beautiful interior of a mansion, and we found the Hay House. It suits our needs perfectly.”

Manners said he didn’t know if the production would shoot any further scenes at the Hay House should the pilot get picked up as a series. The production is based in Wilmington, N.C. But he indicated Macon’s architecture lends itself to the movie and TV production business.

“I love this town,” Manners said. “It’s a great town. I love so many of the old buildings downtown. It’s just beautiful.”

Elliott Dunwody, who serves on the Macon Film Commission, said Tuesday he couldn’t comment on the current project because of a confidentiality agreement he and other locals were required to sign.

The pilot is just the latest production to land in the midstate. Earlier this year, scenes for the movie “Trouble With The Curve,” which starred Clint Eastwood and was released in September, were shot at Luther Williams Field and Northside Cheers.

A month later, “42,” a biopic of Jackie Robinson, shot in several locations throughout Macon. That movie stars Harrison Ford and is scheduled to be released in April.

“Witches of East End” is the first in a series of books by de la Cruz about a family of witches called the Beauchamps. Ormond, who plays the matriarch of the family, is best known for movies such as “Sabrina” and “Legends of the Fall.” She also appeared in the most recent season of the TV series “Mad Men.”

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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