Switching Filming Location Away From California Was A Necessity For 'Jason Lives' Production

After filming the first two films in the New England area of the United States, production shifted to California for the third, fourth, and fifth films in the franchise. Keeping Friday The 13th in California helped reduce the cost of producing the films, however, this created a rift between production and labor unions. This prompted producer Frank Mancuso Jr. to create working titles for the films, famously using David Bowie song titles to replace the Friday The 13th name and avoid the watchful eye of the union.

Although some fans applauded Paramount for shifting production for Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part 6 away from California, in what seemed like a move to give the appearance of the next sequel a more "authentic" look of the first two films, truth be told the move was made for much different reasons.

After the on-set tensions of the three previous Friday films, shooting another sequel in California would have been a near impossibility. The threat of a backlash from the unions was too great a risk for Frank Mancuso, Jr.’s upstart Hometown Films to take, and Tom McLoughlin’s script, the first in the series to feature numerous kids in prominent roles, required that the production find a "right-to-work" state amenable to extending the hours a child could legally perform. The location the producers of Jason Lives would eventually settle upon, the quaint town of Covington, Georgia and its surrounding areas, turned out to be a home run for the production. Covington wasn't quite the authentic camp location of the first two films, but it was a far more suitable stand-in than the desert hills of Southern California had been since Part 3.

As cameras officially rolled on Jason Lives on February 6, 1986, the crew settled in for a six-week shoot that was in complete contrast to the pressure-cooker environment that dominated the last few Friday The 13th films. Avoiding the stronger watchful eye of the unions in California and director Tom McLoughlin's fun and energetic attitude created a much more relaxed atmosphere to bring the next chapter of Jason Voorhees to the big screen.