Film industry in Georgia (U.S. state)

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This article is about the film industry in the U.S. state of Georgia. For the film industry in the Republic of Georgia, see Cinema of Georgia.

The film industry in Georgia was, in 2010, the fourth largest among U.S. states, eclipsed only by California, New York State, and Texas. The industry in Georgia was boosted substantially by tax incentives introduced in 2002 and strengthened in 2008. The state government claims $770 million in economic impact to Georgia (2009), while industry sources claim that the tax subsidy costs the state $141 million (2010). Atlanta is the center of the film industry in Georgia with Turner, Tyler Perry and EUE/Screen Gems studios located there. There were 348 productions shot in the state in 2009. Films shot in Georgia include Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns (2008), Life as We Know It (2010), and Contagion (2011). Atlanta has been called the "Hollywood of the South" [1]

Ranking[edit]

Research by Film Works L.A., a campaign to keep movie production in Los Angeles, shows Georgia in the #4 position (or if including Canadian provinces, #5 in North America). Note that California, #1 is not included in the chart:[2]

State/province Production
spending
(USD million)
Feature
films
TV
shows
Total
projects
Cost
(USD million)
New York State (2013) 1,880 85 30 119 367
British Columbia (2013) 778 36 14 94 129
Louisiana (2013) 674 68 13 118 197
Georgia (2013) 617 19 36 n/a 141
Ontario (2013) 361 20 16 48 63

Incentives[edit]

The state’s first tax incentive, a point of purchase sales and use tax exemption, was introduced in 2002. The state’s second and most progressive tax incentive, the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, was signed into law in May 2005 and updated in May 2008. The act granted qualified productions a transferable income tax credit of 20% of all in-state costs for film and television investments of $500,000 or more. An additional 10% tax credit was awarded to approved projects that embed a Georgia Entertainment Promotional logo within the titles or credits of each production.[3]

In 2005 Georgia spent $10.3 million on its film incentive. That amount increased to $140.6 million by 2010.[2]

Impact on economy[edit]

The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office states that more than 700 feature films, TV movies, TV series, single episodes and pilots have been produced in Georgia since 1972, generating $7 billion in economic impact. They estimate the economic impact of entertainment industry projects that they handled in 2009 was $770 million.[3]

According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development:[3]

  • There are more than 5,000 individual technicians and other workers in Georgia
  • The average number of local employees on a medium budget feature film is about 150-175
  • On a larger budget production there are about 200-250 local employees
  • The average feature film budget is $41.7 million
  • The average amount (below-the-line) of feature film budget spent in a state is 60% - 70%. This is higher for locally produced projects.

Facilities[edit]

Atlanta has become a center for film and television production and counts the presence of Turner Studios, which produces content for the Turner Broadcasting family of stations; since 2008 the Tyler Perry Studios in Southwest Atlanta; and since 2010 the EUE/Screen Gems soundstages in Lakewood Heights, south Atlanta, and to a limited extent, the facilities of Georgia Public Broadcasting, where the first season of Swift Justice with Nancy Grace was taped using state tax credits. Both films and many popular TV shows such as the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Tyler Perry's series, and Family Feud (since Season 13 of the 1999 revival, starting in 2011) are produced in Atlanta.

Productions in Georgia[edit]

There were 348 productions shot in the state in 2009. These industry establishments are supported wholly or in part by the production of feature films; television movies, series, pilots and miniseries; commercials, music videos, documentaries and still shoots.[3]

Films shot in Metro Atlanta[edit]

Films shot in Atlanta include Little Darlings (1980), Sharky's Machine (1981), Driving Miss Daisy (1989),Outbreak (1995), Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns (2008), Life as We Know It (2010), and Contagion (2011).

Covington in Metro Atlanta has been home to dozens of feature and television projects that include the hit TV series The Vampire Diaries and In the Heat of the Night.[3] Although many types of films are shot in Atlanta, the New York Times in 2011 recognized the particular concentration of horror and zombie-themed productions in the city.[4]

Films shot outside Metro Atlanta[edit]

Besides Metro Atlanta, cities and towns frequently used to shoot in include:[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]