Georgia Takes the Stage
Denzel Washington on the set of “Flight” near Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1998, there were only three television and episodic productions shot in Georgia. How did that grow to the 333 feature films, television movies and series, commercials and music videos filmed in the state during FY12?
In 2008, the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act was signed into law. The Act, also referred to as the “film tax incentive,” provides a transferable tax credit to companies that spend a minimum dollar amount in the state on qualified production or post-production expenditures.
The tax incentive is not the only reason Georgia’s entertainment industry has grown:
• The state’s highly-skilled crew base
• Ease of access through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
• Cast and crew recruitment supported with Georgia’s Help Wanted Hotline
• A plethora of resources including access to staff’s location scouts offered by the Georgia Film Office
Overall, film companies have found that each phase of the value chain can be implemented within Georgia’s comprehensive infrastructure, from script development to distribution and marketing.
In addition, there is something very special about the state that keeps projects coming back. On his time spent filming ‘Flight’ In Georgia with colleague Denzel Washington, actor Bruce Greenwood stated that “the people were so warm and so nice, I came back and shot another film there.” ‘Trouble with the Curve’ director Robert Lorenz said he would “come back to Georgia for sure” after reflecting upon the “terrific” and “accommodating” people he met while filming. Georgia’s educated, entrepreneurial, diverse and creative population paired with pro-business legislation fosters a uniquely high standard of living for new and existing companies.
Today, the economic impact of the industry in the state is $3.1 billion. If film and television in Georgia were a single company, it would rank as one of the top 10 employers in the state. Projects that are currently underway include ‘Last Vegas,’ starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman, the ‘Hunger Games’ sequel ‘Catching Fire,’ and the fourth season of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead.’