Entertainment industry adds $9.5 billion to Georgia.
Some of the biggest movies in Hollywood filmed in Georgia including Baby Driver, I, Tonya, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Black Panther have all shot in Georgia. As a result, Georgia’s film industry is booming. In fact, Georgia brought in $9.5 billion to the state’s film industry.
“It’s an exciting time,” said Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “It’s amazing what has happened here. It’s so much bigger than anyone thought it would be.”
The industry has grown in the last decade from $240 million in 2007 to its current $9.5 billion. Now, there are on average of 30 to 40 productions filming at any point in time across the state. That level of growth not only benefits the economy, but it provides jobs to Georgia natives. Moreover, more than 92,000 people in Georgia work in jobs tied to the entertainment industry and 90% of the Walking Dead crew is from Georgia. Furthermore, Marvel Studios movies film in Georgia has steadily continued to hire more and more locally trained crew to keep up with a large number of productions filming in the state.
Georgia's film industry's success is all due to the state’s tax credits system. They provide significant cost savings for production companies. According to georgia.org, the state’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act offers a 20 percent tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in Georgia, either in a single production or on multiple projects. The state grants an additional 10 percent tax credit if the finished project includes a promotional logo provided by the state. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport also provides easy access for actors and actresses to travel to Georgia.
“All the stuff you need to make a $300 million movie is here,” Stepakoff said, “as well as all the stuff you need to make a 10-episode Netflix streaming series.”
The Georgia Film Academy started in 2015 to help with the demand and create a permanent and sustainable industry and works with 18 institutions across the state. It primarily focuses on working with leaders in the film and TV industry, creating jobs for aspiring film crew workers in Georgia and providing a sustainable and permanent entertainment industry.
We want to make sure that we have the economic engine of the entire entertainment industry here in Georgia—indeed a full ecosystem,” Stepakoff said.
Many of those who have started the Georgia Film Academy have found jobs in below-the-line positions in areas such as grip, electric and lighting, but the academy is adding courses in above-the-line trades such as screenwriting and filmmaking.
“We believe Georgia will be a pre-eminent destination for the film and television industry for many years to come,” Stepakoff said. “It will be a legacy for our state.”Related:
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