"Seeing film productions in town has become commonplace here in East Point. In fact, we have another film group in town right now and several others scouting," said Erin Rodgers, that city's economic development specialist. "We are committed to maintaining the city's reputation as a film-friendly environment, and I think the number of repeat film clients is a testament to that. It's exciting to know that your city was a part of a film project that is so big, so exciting and tells a story that is so incredibly important as the story told in the film 'Hidden Figures.'"
The project also filmed at the OFS facility in Norcross and the former Fort McPherson site, now owned by entertainment mogul Tyler Perry, in south Atlanta.
Other Atlanta projects to cheer for this Sunday: the sci-fi romance "Passengers" with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, which is up for best original score and production design. "Sully," starring Tom Hanks and directed by Clint Eastwood, is up for sound editing. The awards show, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel this year, airs at 7 p.m. Sunday on ABC.
"Hidden Figures" is based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, whose sister Lauren Colley works at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Our family grew up in Hampton,” Shetterly “We knew a lot of the people in the community who worked at NASA. It was sort of no big deal. In Hampton, there is NASA, there are the shipyards, the military. It was just kind of a normal thing that a lot of those people were African-American, and a lot were women, and some were both.”
Shetterly studied finance at the University of Virginia and worked on Wall Street for a while before transitioning to various internet media projects. She and her husband were living in Mexico, where they ran an English language magazine, when the idea for the book blossomed during a trip back home several years ago. Talk turned to the "computers," as the women were known back then, whose meticulous calculations were vital in sending astronaut John Glenn, who died in early December at age 95, into orbit.
“How did I not know about this?” Shetterly recalled wondering. “My mom was like, ‘Hey, let’s call up Katherine Johnson and go over to her house.’ That’s where I heard the name Dorothy Vaughan. (Johnson) said she was the smartest person she ever met. I was like, I need to check out this Dorothy Vaughan, whose name I’d never heard.”
The book and movie projects took off at a joint gallop and the rest is history, hidden no longer.