ATLANTA, November 5, 2008 - Georgia’s new aggressive 30 percent entertainment tax incentives have resulted in three major production companies filming in Georgia. Filming has begun in various Alpharetta and Atlanta locations. The productions are estimated to have an economic impact of $31 million in Georgia and represent more than 500 jobs.
“We are proud to have the most competitive and stable entertainment tax incentives in the nation,” said Bill Thompson, deputy commissioner of the Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Many of our clients have confirmed this to us. Our financial resources, highly-trained professional crews, state-of-the-art facilities, climate, ease of transportation and diverse geographical locations make Georgia a very desirable place to film.” Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River and is one of America’s original thirteen colonies.
The 2008 Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act grants an income tax credit of 20 percent to qualified productions. An additional 10 percent tax credit is awarded to approved projects that embed a Georgia Entertainment Promotional logo within the titles or credits of each production. Eligible productions include: traditional motion picture projects such as feature films, television series, commercials and music videos, but also innovative new industries such as game development and animation. From January to October 2008, an estimated 315 film, TV and video game projects were completed in Georgia with an economic impact of more than $500 million.
“We have had a wonderful experience working in Georgia,” said Doug Mankoff, president of Echo Lake Productions and producer of The Joneses. “The excellent crew and the beautiful locations, combined with one of the strongest tax incentives in the country, make the state a great location for filming.”
Echo Lake Productions is currently filming The Joneses, a drama starring David Duchovny and Demi Moore, in Alpharetta. The feature film is a social commentary addressing the consumerist society. The Joneses is about a seemingly perfect family who moves into an upscale suburban neighborhood. The “all-too perfect” family stirs up suspicion from neighbors, as they question the truth behind why the family has moved into the neighborhood.
Also in production are Warner Specialty Productions’ feature film The Preacher’s Kid filming in metro Atlanta with the last shoot day at the historic Fox Theatre and the Disney Family Channel’s Your Presents Requested filming at multiple locations in downtown and metro Atlanta. Georgia’s film legacy continues as these three feature films contribute to Georgia’s rich history of memorable movies such as Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes, Forrest Gump, Sweet Home Alabama, My Cousin Vinny and We Are Marshall. Filmmaking in Georgia began in 1912 and has continued in every decade since then.
Georgia has been investing in the entertainment industry for over 36 years. Since the inception of the Georgia Film Commission in 1973, more than 600 major motion pictures, independent films, television series and pilots, and TV movies have filmed on location in the state. As a result, more than $5 billion has been generated for the state’s economy.
Thompson will be a panelist at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, California for the panel discussion Production Incentives: The Reel World, on November 9. He will be addressing frequently asked questions about Georgia’s entertainment incentives. The panel will be presented in a case-study format and will include practical tips, pitfalls and traps of which to be cautious.
For more information on the 2008 Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, please visit www.georgia.org/entertainmentindustry, or call Lee Thomas, Senior Location Specialist, at 404-962-4048.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state's sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.
The Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office, formerly known as the Film, Video and Music Office, conducts extensive business development, sales, marketing and promotional activities in order to attract entertainment projects and businesses to the state. The office also assists the local, national and international entertainment industries with information, expertise and resources. The staff points movie production companies to Georgia’s highly-trained crews, state-of-the-art facilities, and diverse locations. Georgia’s temperate climate and easy access afforded by Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are also factors that attract the industry’s interest.