Bay County grows as entertainment industry location

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Lights, camera, action. Cue the beach.

“What’s happening exactly behind (me) that we can’t get too close on is a popular show called Barstool Sports. This particular game is going to be a giant ball pit where the people have to go in the pit,” Bay County Film Commissioner Julie Gordon said.

Friday, the popular online show Barstool Sports set up shop in Panama City Beach.

Gordon said there isn’t much to say about what they’re doing right now. Most of what they’re filming is under wraps to the public.

Some may be surprised to see such a well-known show in the area but Gordon said this is a normal occurrence.

“Last week we filmed a movie trailer for Roadkill that’s going to be a really high-action impact film,” Gordon said.

Whether it’s Discovery Channel, HGTV, or even an artist shooting a music video, the entertainment industry has taken a liking to Bay County.

“A lot of the places where we film are on the west end because that’s really beautiful beach. Just the big sprawling beach to get some great shots. Also, downtown Panama City, that is the best, anywhere USA,” Gordon said.

Gordon said Bay County has always been a popular destination for filming and getting people to come here is pretty easy.

“My job is to get people to come to this amazing filming destination, and it’s so easy not just because of the beautiful locations but because of the people and the cooperation we get from everybody,” Gordon said.

Bay County Commissioner Robert Carroll said the projects also help boost our local economy.

“I think it helps put us on the map,” Carroll said. “They’re renting equipment. They have to hire people to be in the background of the shows. Caterers are at work.”

“Let’s get people who live here to work. So we hire grips. We hire hair people. We hire makeup. We hire security, medics, all those types of things. So, people are working a lot more and actually being able to freelance full time because of all the productions we have coming in,” Gordon said.

Officials said it’ll be a busy entertainment season here so make sure you’re camera-ready should you get the call.

In addition, a movie more familiar to Bay County will begin filming as well. It’s called 52 Days: The Triangle.

The movie is based on spring break in Panama City Beach in 2015.

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