Emerald Coast scene for blockbuster films

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM.

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.

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