The production company of the HBO Max series “love and deathwill pay Williamson County $100,000 to film the courthouse and justice center for several days in February and March.
County commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement with North Center Productions Inc. to allow filming at Georgetown County properties. The company will also donate $10,000 to the Williamson County Historical Commission for filming. The county plans to use the money to repair the courthouse.
The HBO Max series is based on the true story of a woman accused of killing her friend with an ax in the small northeast Texas town of Wylie in 1980. She began filming in Hutto end of September.
Filming at county properties will take place from February 25 to March 6.
HBO Max estimates it will spend about $424,000 in Georgetown to cover location fees, carrier fees, permits and labor, according to a request submitted to the county. The money is part of $660,500 the production plans to spend in Williamson County, according to the request.
“Our goal is to film in Georgetown the last week of February through early March,” according to the request. “If approved, we will employ over 180 local background actors in addition to our local film crew over 70% in Texas.”
HBO Max has also agreed to compensate any businesses around the courthouse that have to close because of the shooting, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.
“One of the things that I was assured was well spelled out in the agreement was that any business that closed would be reimbursed for their usual day of earnings,” Gravell said.
The show’s executive producers include Nicole Kidman, according to a press release from WarnerMedia. The cast stars Elizabeth Olsen, who recently played the Scarlet Witch in “Wandavision,” a TV series on Disney Plus. Other stars include jesse plemonsPatrick Fugit and Lily Rabe.
The television series was inspired by the book “Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs” and a collection of Texas Monthly articles titled “Love & Death In Silicon Prairie,” according to WarnerMedia.
The book and magazine articles are about Candy Montgomery, who was charged with murder after being accused of hitting Betty Gore 41 times with an ax in 1980 after having an affair with Gore’s husband. The women were friends and attended the same church
A jury acquitted Montgomery on the basis of self-defense, according to The Dallas Morning News. Crowds standing at the Collin County Courthouse witnessed what has been called North Texas’ most sensational murder trial of the late 20th century, the newspaper reported.
Filming in Georgetown will begin at the east entrance of the Williamson County Courthouse at 701 S. Main Street. Filming will continue through Feb. 28 at the courthouse, including a second-floor conference room and the north entrance.
Filming will also take place March 3-6 at the Williamson County Justice Center at 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Crews will shoot scenes from outside the building and also inside a courtroom where the trial will be filmed. Crews will also film scenes March 6 at sallyport, the secure entry route, for the Williamson County Jail.