Seann William Scott films scenes in Helena during film production

Published 4:44 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2023

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

HELENA – The city of Helena is serving as a featured production location for Michael Diliberti’s new film “Bad Man” starring actor Seann William Scott, known most prominently for his role in the “American Pie” film series.

With shooting already underway and set to continue after a short production break over the Christmas holiday, the film’s production has utilized a number of Helena’s most prominent and well-known locations around Old Town.

“They’re focusing everything around the Old Town area,” Helena Mayor Brian Puckett said. “They’ve (already) filmed for a couple of days at The Depot restaurant and are also filming at Oversoul Brewing, which they have turned into their ice cream parlor. They’ve also utilized the amphitheater and the streets of Old Town—going over the railroad tracks and stuff like that.”

Photographs uploaded to social media from city officials have also displayed scenes being filmed near the overpass located at Amphitheater Park and near the city’s beloved dam at Buck Creek. This has included having areas transformed and slightly altered from their normal state, such as the inclusion of a phone booth below the overpass and the previously mentioned redressing of local businesses.

These changes serve to transform Helena into the setting of the film, described as the fictional Colt Lake, TN. While serving as the film’s backdrop, Helena has seen its local businesses enjoy an influx of activity from production crews and the film’s stars.

“Anytime that we have people coming from outside of the area we know that they are going to be using and visiting our local businesses,” Puckett said. “They are going to be keeping some of their tax dollars local. We want them to (and they do) stop by Daysol and grab some coffee and grab a burger at The Depot while they’re in Old Town. We like to see that economic impact that they bring every time we see activity like this.”

The production of “Bad Man” is but the latest in a string of film productions to make use of the city’s locations. Films such as “Coffee House,” “The Devil All The Time” and “October Baby” have all utilized Helena locations over the past several years and are not the only examples of the city’s background in the film industry.

“We are always welcome, with open arms, these types of endeavors from the film and entertainment industries to come into our city and film,” Puckett said. “We feel that we are very blessed with having amazing backdrops for movies, commercials and music videos. We like to take advantage of that. It is really one of those things where we get to showcase our amazing city to the world.  We continue to work with the Birmingham Film Office to make sure that they know we always have the appetite to bring in production crews”

In that spirit, Helena additionally serves as a normal host to commercial and advertising productions.

“We film commercials probably about four to six times a year,” Puckett said. “A lot of times it is different companies using the trails and amenities like that which we have.”

In the past two months, Helena has been involved in two commercial productions for different departments serving the state of Alabama.

While there is more filming still to take place in Helena, local residents have already had some opportunities to be featured as extras in the production. A number of familiar faces will be present in the crowd during the film’s scenes that have been filmed at the Helena Amphitheater. Actors, including Seann William Scott, have also taken the time to visit with some of the city officials and residents during filming breaks.

“This group has been amazing to work with,” Puckett said. “(Scott) is completely down to Earth. You never want to interrupt someone when they are doing their job, so it was very gracious of him to stop and to take time out just to come and talk and have a good conversation. It was exciting to have him in our city.”

Current information shows that filming for “Bad Man” is set to continue in Alabama until Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.