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Experience Atlanta Like You Should, By Exploring its Booming Film Industry

By Kelly Church

At Atlanta Movie Tours, you won't find employees with traditional titles. Enter founder and Chief Movie Buff Carrie Burns. Burns started her Atlanta, GA business in 2012, inspired by a love of AMC's hit show The Walking Dead. The business takes tourists around to locations that popular television shows and movies have filmed at, even introducing tourists to insiders that have worked on the sets.

"There are now six tour offerings with many more in the works and we handle plenty of customized tours for groups coming in to visit, corporations, conventions [and more]," Burns says. "We are the number two tour activity in Atlanta on TripAdvisor and have had over 25,000 guests tour with us."

Burns says the most popular tours at Atlanta Movie Tours are the Big Zombie Tours, of which there are three, all focusing on The Walking Dead. The Big Zombie Tour Part One allows guests to see all of the Atlanta filming locations from the show. Tourists will see the hospital that started The Walking Dead's lead character Rick Grimes' story and the goat farm where the Vatos set up camp. As a souvenir, tourists are able to get their own cover shot and selfie from the Jackson Street bridge.

Big Zombie Tour Part Two takes tourists an hour south of Atlanta to Senoia, GA to find out for themselves where Alexandria is, test their strength in the zombie arena (pictured below), explore Woodbury and see Beth's hospital. Zombie Tour Part Three takes tourists east and covers the locations that were missing from parts one and two. They'll find out if Glenn made it out from the dumpster, see where Nicholas died, go back in time to where Rick and Shane discussed Randall's fate and Sophia was last seen heading into the woods, and discuss the fate of mankind at the Feed Building. For each Big Zombie Tour, guests can opt to have three hours with a character or insider from the set of the show.

Many of the stops on the Big Zombie Tours were also featured in other television shows and movies, including Fried Green Tomatoes, Sweet Home Alabama, The Blind Side, Drop Dead Diva and Driving Miss Daisy.

Other tours include the Victory Tour, which focuses on locations in The Hunger Games, including President Snow's mansion (pictured above) and giving tourists a look into what the districts look like behind the scenes. For fans of both The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games, many of the sights on the Big Zombie Tours are also featured in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and a couple in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2.

Over the years, Atlanta Movie Tours has become quite a successful business, especially for something born of a casual conversation between friends. Burns says she and co-founder Patti Davis were enjoying a conversation over dinner in January 2012 when The Walking Dead came up. Burns mentioned she took a few friends that were visiting to some of the locations around town where filming took place. Davis' response changed everything: "We have to turn that into a business!"

Two months later, the duo had guides set up, routes in place and a contract with a bus company. On March 21, 2012 they ran their first tour. A mere ten days later, they held their first sold out tour: The Big Zombie Tour.

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