Lottery Ticket: Atlanta Stands in for Everywhere, USA

“Lottery Ticket,” which stars Bow Wow, Ice Cube, and Brandon T. Jackson, is based on a man living in the projects of Atlanta who wins the lottery. The film, which is directed by Erik White, is being released by Warner Bros. on August 20.
Production began in October 2009, on location in Atlanta, Georgia, because of an offer the filmmakers couldn’t refuse: the availability of an existing housing project, vacant save for a handful of remaining units, which was already scheduled to be razed. Production designer Roshelle Berliner and her team briefly turned it into the fictitious Fillmore Housing Community for “Lottery Ticket,” and it was demolished shortly after production wrapped. ??The site allowed them access to film extensively both before and after sundown. The filmmakers were also able to stage a climactic block party scene involving hundreds of extras that took two days to shoot, without disrupting local life.
Originally set in NYC
Erik White had originally planned to set the story closer to his East Coast roots. “This story is based on my growing up in Brooklyn, and on some of the characters I knew. Initially, I thought of it as a New York movie,” he says. But, as things developed and production commenced, he came to prefer the idea of placing it into a non-specific locale. ??The production avoided skylines and landmarks that would identify the city, the most prominent of which was The Georgia Dome stadium, adjacent to the set. A portion of the area’s mass transit system was renamed and re-dressed for an early scene in which Kevin and Benny trek into town with high hopes of redeeming the ticket, and discover the lottery office closed.
Everywhere, USA
“It’s not a New York movie and it’s not an Atlanta movie, either,” White states. “It turned out not to be about regions but more like Everywhere, USA. The idea is, it’s just a neighborhood, any neighborhood, where people are working regular jobs, going to school, hanging out at the corner grocery and trying to get by, and that’s not unique to any one place. We can all relate.”