In the small community of the Emerald Coast many would think it odd to have just one motion picture featuring the pristine beaches. But the coastal area has been home to several films.
Northwest Florida has served as a filming location for several blockbusters with its pristine beaches, idyllic towns with Charleston-style porches and candy-colored houses and sophisticated military bases.
In 1977 and 1978, the beaches of Fort Walton Beach were used for Jaws 2, although the movie is set in Martha’s Vineyard. Frogs, a 1972 horror film, was filmed in Santa Rosa Beach at Eden Gardens State Park in Point Washington.
But, Gail Morgan, the Okaloosa County film commissioner was quick to point out local locations are constantly used in major films.
“Nine times out of ten, there’s always something going on,” Morgan said.
In 2010, parts of Hurlburt Field were used for Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon. And areas in Destin have served as a location for several underwater scenes such as in the Academy Award nominated film Beasts of a Southern Wild, according to Morgan.
Morgan said a current project in Panama City Beach is East Side Story. The film is written and produced by David Winters, one of the original Broadway and movie cast members for West Side Story.
Parts of East Side Story will also be filmed in Okaloosa County and auditions were held locally. Information about auditions is available on the Facebook page of the Production Services Association (PSA) of Northwest Florida.
Other movies filmed locally include Dive Bomber from 1941, G.I. Jane from 1997, Eagle Eye from 2008, and Born and Raised from 2011.
Possibly the most notable filming was The Truman Show filmed in Seaside and parts of Point Washington in 1998.
“It was really fun for everybody,” said Carmel Modica of Seaside's Modica Market. “Everybody got involved.”
Many locals were extras in the film, including Carmel’s brother, Charlie, and her parents, Sarah and Charles.
Donna Spiers, a broker for Seaside Realty said she had a hard time watching the film when it first came out.
“It was hard to even follow the story line because you’re so busy looking around at the background, at things you knew, looking at the people whom you knew who were in the movie," Spiers said. "I actually had to watch it a second time to even learn what the movie was about because the first time you were so distracted.”