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Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 9:19am

'CBGB' Set To Film in Savannah

Hundreds of potential actors and actresses lined up Tuesday for a role in the movie "CBGB", a movie about the iconic New York club.

Filmmakers at Meddin Studios in Savannah held a casting call for bit roles in the film's bar scenes.

Aspiring actors auditioned for a variety for reasons.

"My major is Mass Communications and I'm a minor in Business Management," says Deandre Scott, a student at Savannah State University, "It's just a foot in the door for me."

"I just love acting," says high school student Emily Gill, "I really want to meet Alan Rickman if possible."

Rickman, most known for his role in the Harry Potter films, is set to play Hilly Krystal, the club's founder.

Also from Harry Potter, Rupert Grint is cast as Cheetah Chrome, a guitarist of the band Dead Boys.

Other big names include Johnny Galecki, Mickey Sumner and Taylor Hawkins.

Jay Self of the Savannah Film Office says, he expects the film to result in well over a million dollars in direct spending here in the Savannah area.

Other benefits are less substantial but could help Savannah market itself for future films.

"There's a lot of talk about this film out there in the media, places like Forbes and Huffington Post," Self says. "I think it's cool that to make it look like New York and the Bowery, they're having to dirty Savannah up."

Self says, he can't reveal yet which specific streets will play New York but that the pedestrian and vehicular traffic disruption will be minimal.

He also notes the national media attention the movie brings to the historic city.

The Owner and Creative Director of Meddin Studios, Nick Gant, says that big movies like "CBGB" market Savannah to potential residents.

"That creates people wanting to live and stay and breathe here, so that's big", Nick says. "So anything like this is exciting."

Gant says that Savannah was chosen because it caters to films this size, as opposed to New York, which is much more expensive. He says the film could be completed by the end of the year.

"June 25th is when we start shooting," Gant says, "It's about to 25-30 days of shooting. You'll see three weeks being on stage probably, a couple of weeks at a location downtown that hasn't been announced yet, which will be a little bit of the exterior stuff. Then we'll go to New York and shoot a lot of those great scenes of what New York feels and looks like."

Gant hopes to be completely done with the film by the end of the year.