Georgia’s film industry could return and be bigger and better than ever before after the Coronavirus.
Lee Thomas, Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, says more TV shows and film projects could come to Georgia as the Peach State recovers from the Coronavirus faster than other states.
Thomas provided an update on Georgia’s film industry on June 2nd at a virtual luncheon near the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber.
Thomas reportedly discussed how California and New York are seriously impacted by the Coronavirus, which gives Georgia an opportunity to beat their competitors. “There were projects that had stages they had holds on starting in late summer, but the projects in those stages beforehand haven’t finished their work yet. It’s going to be interesting how these sound stages can accommodate all the projects coming in, not only the projects coming back but also the new ones scheduled.
“We’ll also get even more projects coming from other states because Georgia is reopening faster than other states. … We also have all these new streaming services’ projects.”
On May 28, Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order allowing for public gathers of 25 people or more starting June 1, as long as social distancing remains in place. Productions could resume as early as June or in July.
On June 1st, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers released a highly anticipated white paper on safety protocols for filmmaking.
“We’re talking to production companies and studios all the time. … (The white paper) will set the tone for how things will go in the next couple, three months,” Thomas said. “We are in a good place in Georgia in that we’re opening sooner than New York and L.A. We’re seeing some projects that were going to New York or L.A. that are actually coming here. We do think things will get going here. We have projects that will be coming here in mid-June with pre-production that would start shooting in July.”
When the COVID-19 outbreak hit Georgia, 20 productions voluntarily shut down.
“’MacGyver’ (was) on their 11th episode and will tack on the 12th one when things pick up. Some projects hadn’t started yet. Others, like Netflix’s new movie (‘Red Notice’) with Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds, were in the middle of shooting,” Thomas said, adding all of those productions will return to Georgia once they believe it is safe to resume filming.
Once the pandemic began, the office created COVID-19 resources to help those affected by the disease. Thomas said she does not know how much money companies have lost since the pandemic but expects to have figures within the next two months.
Pat Wilson, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, told members of a state Senate Appropriations subcommittee that Georgia’s growing film industry generated approximately $8.5 billion in economic impact, including $2.9 billion in direct spending. Nearly 90,000 Georgians were employed in film and TV productions before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the industry, Wilson added.
However, the Georgia tax credit also costs taxpayers about $400 million per year. As Gov. Brian Kemp and other legislative leaders looking to reduce spending even before the Coronavirus Pandemic, the cost of the tax credit caused two audits of the film industry last January. Those audits helped spark the introduction of legislation to implement stricter rules on the transfer or sale of unused credits, which is used by production groups that film part of the movie outside of Georgia.
This news comes after ‘Spider-Man 3’ is expected to film in Atlanta, Georgia. Tom Holland is eager to reprise his role as the world’s most famous Spider-man. In a new interview with The Inquirer, the 23-year-old actor strengthens his enthusiasm for Spider-Man 3, plus a few notable details about the film.
According to Tom Holland, Spider-Man 3‘s plot is “absolutely insane,” and he’ll be returning to set as Peter Parker and his new Lycra Spider-Man suit this summer. “We will be shooting “Spider-Man 3” in July in Atlanta,” he said.
He added, “Zendaya will most definitely be in the film,” to play Mary-Jane Watson, Peter Parker’s love interest. However, “as to the relationship between Peter and MJ, I’m not too sure what it will be.” The Inquirer also discovered that director Jon Watts will also bring back Jacob Batalon as Parker’s best friend, Ned.
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