Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White is an executive producer for a new movie set to film in Columbus and throughout Muscogee County.
White, along with other representatives for the film, joined Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson and Columbus Film Commission’s President & CEO Peter Bowden to discuss “Electric Jesus,” which is set to begin filming Aug. 20.
“I just got here yesterday and my brother showed me all around and it is absolutely beautiful here in Columbus,” White said. “I want to come back. I (would like) to live here one day. It’s just beautiful.”
The film, a coming-of-age rock ‘n’ roll comedy, follows a young, Christian hair-metal band in 1986 as they chase their dreams. Chris White, no relation to Vanna, is the film’s writer, director and producer. Emily Reach White, Chris’ wife, is an executive producer. Vanna’s brother, Chip White, is also a producer.
Columbus State University student Will Oliver serves as one of the film’s stars. Brian Baumgartner, known for his role as Kevin Malone in NBC’s “The Office,” and Judd Nelson, known for his role in “The Breakfast Club,” will also star in the film.
Filming is set to last four weeks, said Chris White.
“Electric Jesus will be in every corner of the county,” he said.
The film is the second produced through the Columbus Film Fund, a public-private partnership which uses private funds to incentivize film and TV productions to come to Columbus. The first was “The Long Night” starring Bruce Willis.
More films could soon come to Columbus, said Bowden, of the city’s film commission. The commission is in the midst of negotiations for nine films that expressed an interest in shooting in Columbus. Budgets for those films combined is $44 million. The estimated local spend is over $13 million. The film fund’s estimated investment into those projects is $1.4 million.
“That’s always been sort of our secret sauce here in Columbus,” Henderson said of public-private partnerships. “It’s incredible.”
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