If your Buckhead neighborhood has felt like a mini-Hollywood as of late, it’s no coincidence. Buckhead’s burgeoning film and television scene has attracted a number of celebrities to the area, from Oprah Winfrey and Jon Hamm to Ryan Gosling. The various productions have brought big business to the area, too. The film and TV industry generated an economic impact north of $7 billion for Georgia in 2015 alone, according to Governor Nathan Deal. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said last week that Georgia is the No. 3 location in the United States for movie and TV production, and this year we will beat out New York for the No. 2 spot.

“The tax credits for productions did something really incredible from an economic standpoint for Atlanta,” says Ryan Millsap, Buckhead resident and executive chairman of the board for Blackhall Studios, a new film studio in the city. “They’ve fueled an entire new industry.” And there are fringe benefits, too. Millsap says the myriad productions have cultivated a new, creative class in Atlanta. “A large and diverse creative class has always been what’s separated major international cities like London or New York from the rest,” he says. “The film industry has added such depth to Atlanta’s culture—and we’re just in the early stages of this.”  Millsap has made big bets on the future of the movie industry in Georgia, he opened his $70 million studio just last month and has already booked multiple major productions with $200 million+ production budgets for 2017.

The economic benefits are extending to residents throughout Buckhead. Movie Stars often rent homes for $10,000-$50,000 per month for several months on end while working here. Tom Cruise rented a home in the Kingswood Neighborhood for $50,000 a month while working on Mena. Amy Adams paid $18,000 a month to rent a home in Tuxedo Park in 2014 while filming Trouble With The Curve. Many productions rent private homes to serve as sets and pay $10,000 – $75,000 a month depending on the scale of a home. Television shows often return year after year to the same residence as the home becomes part of the story line.

Here’s a look at just some of the Buckhead residences and landmarks to have appeared on the silver screen:

The Swan House

This cultural landmark was one of several Georgia locations to make an appearance in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The Classical mansion designed by architect Phillip Trammell Shutze served as the home of President Snow in the popular film starring Jennifer Lawrence. Owned by The Atlanta History Center, you can go tour it today!

Paces Ferry Road Residence

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Lorri Leonaitis was on her way out of the house when a film producer knocked on her door a few years ago. “He told me a location scout had told him about my home—so I let a stranger into my house and left, which was kind of crazy,” she says with a laugh. But things ended up working out. Her Paces Ferry Road home landed in the USA Network series Satisfaction, which premiered in 2014. “They loved all our furniture and our art, so we didn’t have to change much, which is typically different than a movie production, where they build out a set,” she says. Leonaitis’ house serves as the home of a character named Adriana in the show, who heads up an escort service.

West Conway Road Residence
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Courtesy of Carter Phillips – Film Location Portfolio

At first glance, the sprawling English Country estate of Rodney Cook seems like a picture-perfect location for a film or television production. And TBS agrees. The property, which was originally owned by Hardy Pace, one of Atlanta’s early settlers, appears on the TBS comedy The Detour, a comedy created by Jason Jones and Samantha Bee about the adventures of a family road trip. “It was a really great experience having them film here,” Cook says. “I tried to stay out of their way for the most part, but my grandkids had a lot of fun with them there.” (Photos courtesy of Carter Phillips – Film Location Portfolio)

Chastain Park Residence
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When it comes to productions, it’s a neighborhood affair for Chastain Park resident Cynthia Good. Her charming Buckhead cottage has appeared in everything from a Kroger commercial to Fox’s 24 reboot, 24: Legacy. “My husband and I both work in media, so we have loved having productions take place in our home,” Good says. Most recently, her home appeared in 24: Legacy as the location of a politician’s party—Good and her husband even got to appear on screen as extras. “Everyone was dressed up and holding fake champagne!” Her neighbors next door also own a mansion that appeared in the 2014 film Endless Love.

Hollydale Court Residence

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Owned by Dr. John Munna, a retired plastic surgeon who now works for the CDC, this mid-century Modern home stars in the forthcoming Netflix drama Come Sunday. The film stars Martin Sheen and Chiwetel Ejiofor and depicts the story of an evangelist who preaches that there is no Hell. Filming just wrapped a week ago, so expect to see this Chastain Park home on screens soon. (Photos courtesy of Carter Phillips – Film Location Portfolio)

Has the movie industry been good or bad for Buckhead? Let your opinion be heard below!

The sharing economy is changing everything, from car ownership (see our recent story on Clutch)….to chicken ownership! Last year we did a story about a chicken fad sweeping across Buckhead, but we never could have foreseen “rental chickens”.

If you’ve ever thought about owning chickens, but are intimidated by the process, renting them might just be the answer! Not only do fresh organic eggs from your own backyard make an incredible breakfast, chickens are an insecticide, natural gardeners, and according to City Chick founder Heath Ward, watching a chicken run is, “one of nature’s best comedies.” Ward founded City Chick when he saw the need & desire of many friends and neighbors who wanted to have chickens.

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Ward with “the girls” in a client’s coop

“We used to live near Lenox Mall and when friends came over, they’d see our chickens and say, ‘we would love to try this, but had no idea you could do it in Atlanta!’ So we moved to Palmetto, GA and now have 10 acres (City Chick HQ) for our girls to run around all they want!”

City Chick allows you the experience of gathering your very own backyard eggs without having to commit to full time ownership. City Chick provides a coop, all the nesting, 3 hens, feeder & waterer, free delivery inside Metro Atlanta, a chicken 101 course, monthly coop cleanings and chicken checkups by Ward himself! There are two packages to choose from: 3 Hens for $65 a month or 5 Hens for $100 a month.

“Now for those with a very manicured backyard and can’t have chickens running around pecking the grass, this might not be the option for you. Usually our clients will decide within 3 months if they’d like to keep the chickens or turn them back in, because the kids get tired of the shiny new thing in the backyard. But for those who decide to stop renting, instead of having to find a new home for the chickens & sell your coup, we bring the girls back to a fantastic life at City Chick HQ!”

So what, you ask, is Ward’s mission and hope in bringing these helpful broods to Buckhead backyards?

“I want people to know a little more about where their food comes from. City Chick works with a lot of schools and I remember asking a class ‘Where do eggs come from?’ and a little girl said, ‘the grocery store!’ It was cute but at the same time, I wish more kids nowadays were more in touch with nature instead of technology.

We spoke to a few Buckhead residents who work with Ward and rent from City Chick, for real-life insight on renting chickens:

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Annie Goode, Peachtree Hills

Buckhead.com: Why you decided to rent vs buy?
Annie Goode: I knew I wanted fresh eggs and the idea of a farm has always intrigued me. I am very interested in the slow food and farm to table movements and am a bit of a “homesteader” (I mill my own wheat to make our bread, water-bath can our jams and pickles, enjoy sewing etc). The investment of money and the thought that hens can live 8 years, while only actively laying for about 3 years was overwhelming. What if my romanticized idea of owning chickens was off and we hated it? What if they were mean? What do you do with a hen once it stops laying? I found City Chick through our preschool and thought it would be an outstanding idea. Heath provides an “intro to chickens” class when he drops off your flock and constant support and guidance. City Chick is a “chicken concierge” – a great way to practice before committing. I didn’t have to build a coop, or raise baby chicks – we got to have mature egg layers and a coop all at once.

Buckhead.com: The best thing about having chickens in your backyard?
Annie Goode:The fresh eggs! And they are such sweet birds that know our family -the kids have named our hens ZigZag, LoveBug, and Nutty. My three children love playing with the birds and the hens themselves have sweet personalities and are very tolerant of all the love they receive. They vocalize when we go outside to great us (or beg to be free-ranged) and they have individual personalities. It is also relaxing to watch them scratch and peck around the back yard. The eggs are incredible quality – and talk about fresh! Heath is always available to answer questions and respond to any concerns. I think we will continue to rent our chickens for a long while.

Buckhead.com: Any fun little-known facts you’ve learned about having chickens?
Annie Goode:

  1. The eggs don’t need to be refrigerated. Eggs are laid with a bacterial bloom around them that keeps them from spoiling. As long as you don’t wash them, you can leave the eggs on the counter for weeks (check with Heath for the exact length – we refrigerate our eggs out of habit).
  2. The chickens put themselves to bed at dusk. They all walk up into the top of the coop by themselves and bed down for the night. All I have to do is close the bottom of the coop to keep out predators.
  3. Chickens have outstanding eyesight and will learn to recognize your face – really!

Buckhead.com: What would you tell someone thinking about having chickens?
Annie Goode: Do it! We have loved it! Renting them is a great way to start – we started renting for the fresh eggs, but we continue to rent because we love having the birds as pets! If you hate it, Heath will come take the birds home – nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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Kelly Haner, Chastain Park

Buckhead.com: Why you decided to rent vs buy?

Kelly Haner: Our daughter’s preschool had them and we loved getting to know them. I wasn’t sure how much work they would be, so renting providing us a trial run without the commitment.

Buckhead.com: The best thing about having chickens in your backyard?

Kelly Haner: It gives my kids something real to take care of that depends on them daily. The chickens really like us, and want to be around us – they crack us up with how they run and interact. One of them will even put it’s foot on top of mine when we are next to each as a show of affection. My kids now have a better understanding of where food comes from – versus just grabbing items in a grocery store. It’s been a great science lesson to learn about how they make eggs, and what they need to flourish as an animal.

Buckhead.com: Any fun little-known facts you’ve learned about having chickens?
Kelly Haner: They are smarter than I ever expected. They come back to the coop when I call them, and they stay in the coop when I tell them “back” – they really can learn simple commands. We’ve had the girls since April and have had about six double yolk eggs so far. The statistics say about 1 in every 1,000 eggs are double yolks – we think we need to have our chickens start playing the lottery 😉

Buckhead.com: What would you tell someone thinking about having chickens?
Kelly Haner: They won’t cuddle like a dog/cat, but they are truly fun to have as a part of our family. It’s hard to explain, but once you have them, you realize how much fun they are to watch and interact with on a daily basis. They are also very sweet and make the nicest noises. When we come home I always say, “hey girls” and they cluck back with the sweetest sounds.

My daughter has the best connection with them – she carries them around and plays with them all the time. One of ours, Luna, lays on a pillow to be petted by her. My daughter also put Luna on her scooter and she flapped her wings and rode the scooter across the back drive – hilarious! We have it recorded on our ipad…my son is hoping it makes it as an AFV clip sometime soon.

In terms of time, they are less intensive than an animal in your home. The clean up is relatively easy, and if we leave town, the neighborhood kids help me out with feeding in exchange for free eggs.

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