Small towns in Georgia are Dodd Vickers’ specialty. A Georgia native, he took the time to admire Southern architecture as he moved around the state. Now a location manager and scout, he uses a lifetime of accumulated knowledge to find the perfect fit for film and TV productions.
“The film industry has been a boon to my family and me. It’s really changed our life,” says Dodd. “But, we aren’t the only ones who have benefitted. The small businesses we frequent when we’re in town filming have seen a significant boost too.”
Dodd’s wife Taylor Vickers is a location scout. She scouted the quaint town of Barnesville for HBO’s “Sharp Objects,” which Dodd worked on as the location manager. During the shoot, the town saw a ten percent increase in sales tax revenue. From the hardware store to restaurants to antique stores, the HBO production frequented all of the businesses of Barnesville.
“I’m proud to be a part of an industry that can provide a boost to the economies of small towns in Georgia,” says Dodd. “I have enjoyed living in these communities myself and I want them to thrive — to stay viable for generations to come.”
Like many Georgians, Dodd’s path to the film industry was a winding road. After studying architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology and serving in the U.S. Army, he returned to Atlanta and worked in hospitality, eventually as the manager of The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta.
While at his mother’s horse farm in Monroe, Dodd encountered a group scouting locations for the Jennifer Aniston movie “Wanderlust.” Dodd became friendly with the location manager on the film, who then helped Dodd get his start in the industry.
Dodd’s first movie was “American Reunion.” Maida Morgan, the location manager, liked to hire people with a military and hospitality background. Dodd discovered that much of location management is about logistics — skills he learned while in the military and at the Ritz. Dodd says he feels lucky that his love of architecture, story, and hospitality taught him the skills he needs in his current career.
As Dodd puts it, the locations team are “involuntary firefighters,” putting out fires on set, and are “professional visitors” as guests in someone else’s neighborhood. Dodd and his crew do everything they can to return the property in the same or better condition than when they found it.
“I studied film in college but never thought I could pursue it as a career in Georgia,” says Dodd. “My family has deep roots here and I’ll never leave. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work in this industry here, in my home state.”
Dodd is currently managing the production of “Queen America” for Facebook Watch which stars Catherine Zeta-Jones.