So, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is sort of how it all fits together: In 1996, for the Atlanta Olympics, a beach volleyball venue was built just outside the city, in Clayton County. Since the games, and in particular since the recession, this county has been hit particularly hard economically – it’s reeling from foreclosures, has the highest unemployment rate in the 10-county metro area at 11.8%. Yet, buoyed by competitive incentive programs, here comes the film industry to throw a lifeline:

in the two years since the county opened a film and entertainment office….. movies, television shows, commercials and other film production have created 100 permanent county jobs and injected between $5 million and $10 million into the economy

The latest news is that Catching Fire, the much-heralded sequel to The Hunger Games, will be filming in Clayton County, re-purposing the sad old volleyball pitch into the beach that’s the pivotal arena for the 75th Hunger Games.

The park is being transformed into a post-apocalyptic setting for the movie, which is based on a book about children forced to fight to the death for food. Clayton County will be paid $80,000 in the deal it reached with Project GGX Productions Inc., according to documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Additionally, off-duty Clayton police officers will earn $45 an hour for security, and a Clayton County Water Authority worker will be paid $75 an hour to drain and refill the park’s lake.

Full article at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Expect visitors pronto.