Behind the scenes look at the filming of ‘Bandit’ in Valdosta

Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 10:06 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Filming in Valdosta for the movie, “Bandit,” wrapped up Thursday.

Crews filmed their last scenes in town before heading out to their next South Georgia destination.

WALB News 10′s Jennifer Morejon was invited on set for a behind-the-scenes look.

Lowndes County’s historic courthouse was transformed into different locations and even a different era, including a hotel room, an 80s living room, a prison cell and a Canadian courtroom.

Behind the scenes of the movie, "Bandit."
Behind the scenes of the movie, "Bandit." (WALB)

“Bandit” is based on a true story of an American thief in Canada who robbed while he was in disguise.

Behind the scenes of the movie, "Bandit."
Behind the scenes of the movie, "Bandit." (WALB)

Kraig Wenman, screenwriter and producer, said the crew has loved South Georgia.

“You can see just buying all the Valdosta merchandise I can buy at this point, we’ve been scouting here for two months. We go to every city and then just keep coming back to Valdosta,” said Wenman.

Wenman said it took three years of planning and research to make this production happen.

When the pandemic hit, the process was delayed.

“It’s just originally a story I heard growing up. I thought it was an urban legend,” explained Wenman.

Wenman said he investigated, read the book and met the real-life thief, Gilbert Galvan Jr. He said they hit it off.

“It was a trip because there’s what they say in the news and then what he says when you meet him and stuff like that. So, it’s just about balancing out what was true and what was not. He’s just this charming guy,” said Wenman.

SPOILER ALERT: Wenman said Galvan visited Thomasville and will appear in the background of a bar scene.

Wenman said it was a surreal experience for Galvan.

Shooting scenes in Thomasville, Valdosta and Tifton next, Wenman said the southern hospitality has really stood out to the crew.

Behind the scenes of the movie, "Bandit."
Behind the scenes of the movie, "Bandit." (WALB)

“I’m a Canadian and we’re supposed to be the nice people, nicest people around traditionally and then you come to Georgia and you’re like ‘oh, there’s someone who is actually nicer,’” said Wenman.

Wenman said people have been very welcoming compared to bigger cities and a lot are willing to pitch in by lending cars, props and being extras, all for free.

“I think it’s the people that makes us come back and obviously, you guys have a really good tax credit here so that also lures us back. Also with COVID in Canada, everything is very locked down and you guys really have it figured out here. It’s a nice change,” said Wenman.

Wenman said he was grateful to everyone for having them and said they’ll return just for that southern hospitality.

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