By Joel Hall
Clayton County got the star treatment on Wednesday morning when Tyler Perry Studios shot the final scenes of its latest movie project at International Park.
Perry, an Atlanta-based playwright and film director, finished the last day of filming for his sixth and latest film, "The Family That Preys," along
upper lake at International Park adjacent to the J. Charley Griswell Senior Center.
The movie, starring Kathy Bates, Alfre Woodard, Sanaa Lathan, and Taraji Henson, is set to hit theaters in September of this year. It is a story about two Southern families -- one black and one white -- and their personal and professional relationships with each other.
The characters, portrayed by Bates and Woodard, share a long friendship but it becomes strained by the extramarital affairs of their children.
In one of the last scenes of the movie, Bates and Woodard take a cross-country trip in a '64 Cadillac Eldorado. Somewhere along the way, the two witness an outdoor baptism in a nearby lake.
Woodard's character eventually convinces Bates' character to get baptized in the lake as well.
The 75-person film crew spent Wednesday morning and most of the afternoon filming that scene at International Park.
Roger Bobb, the film's co-producer, said the lake at International Park was perfect because "it has an any-town feel, in a good way.
"The part is supposed to take place in the Midwest," said Bobb. "The foliage is nondescript. The look of the pond and the trees ... It could be any beautiful town in the United States."
Reuben Cannon, the film's lead producer, said the lake was a perfect location because it is off the main drag and close to Tyler Perry Studios on Krog Street office in Atlanta.
"We needed a manageable lake, so our location manager found this," said Cannon. "It's not exposed to a lot of traffic, visually its scenic ... It's a baptism scene, so it works with the movie."
Park administrator Troy Stubbs, said "The Family That Preys" is the first movie to be filmed at the park in recent memory.
He said the production may open the park to many future opportunities.
"A lot of these crew members are local and a lot of them didn't even know that this is here," said Stubbs. "The park has capabilities for a lot of things and the exposure doesn't hurt."