Tulsa King shoot: Behind the scenes

The decision by the producers of Sylvester Stallone’s Emmy-nominated TV series to film some scenes in Gainesville this week was not made overnight.

A Facebook posting by Explore Gainesville says the city and Explore Gainesville worked secretly with the Tulsa King production team for several months “to bring this project…to Gainesville.”

That posting drew plenty of reaction – both positive and negative. Some of the negative comments revolved around the amount of taxpayer money went toward luring the project to town.

“None” was Explore Gainesville Director Robin Lynch’s answer to one of them.

“These kinds of projects actually bring substantial money into the city through the purchase of lodging for cast and crew, the rental of filming locations, food for cast and crew, etc.,” Lynch wrote. “Gainesville taxpayer dollars do not fund these kinds of projects… they pay to come here!”

What about the security that surrounded Stone and other members of the production team? In many pictures appearing on social media, Gainesville police officers and Hall County sheriff’s deputies were present. A spokesman for the police department and one for the sheriff’s office said those officers were not on duty and had been hired by and paid by the production company.

Did local governments derive direct monetary benefit from the filming, which included a courtroom scene in the Hall County Courthouse Annex?

“Hall County received approximately $25,000 and began conversations (with the producers) in late January/early February of this year,” county spokeswoman Sarah Crowe wrote in an email Thursday. “This was for the use of the Courtroom and the use of the top of the Courthouse Parking Deck.”

As for the city, there was no exchange of money.

“Although the City of Gainesville was not directly compensated, we were pleased to see local hoteliers, restaurants and retailers benefit from the opportunity to accommodate the Tulsa King cast and crew,” spokeswoman Christina Santee said Friday. “We appreciate them expressing interest in our community and look forward to seeing pieces of Gainesville featured in the series. We sincerely hope the Tulsa King cast and crew enjoyed their visit as much as we did.”

Though some streets in the downtown area were closed, city officials and others emphasized throughout the week that businesses were open as usual.

So, have you ever wondered how places such as Gainesville are chosen for location shooting by those involved in such productions? If so, you might find the answer to your questions here: Location scouting – Wikipedia

(Pictured: Explore Gainesville’s Robin Lynch with Stallone)