Earlier this week, Governor. Nathan Deal announced plans to increase Georgia’s film industry by creating a Georgia Film Academy.
But, with the rising number of movies and TV shows filming in the Georgia area, producers were faced with a huge problem. There were not enough crew members to work on the hundreds of productions filming in Georgia. After previously mentioning plans to train more skilled workers to work behind-the-scenes as set designers, grips, electricians, and production assistants.
According to WSBTV, during a meeting between representatives for the film and television industry told state officials that they regularly struggle to find crews in Georgia and have to hire staff from other states.
Projects have struggled to find construction crews, grip and electric teams and special effects, especially for television teams facing a deadline of only a few weeks, said Craig McNeil, production executive at NBC’s cable arm Universal Cable Productions. McNeil is midway through shooting the first season of “Satisfaction” in Georgia and said the number of projects shooting simultaneously in the state can make it difficult to fully staff.
Those already working in those areas say the jobs are easy to come by and with a new film academy, more people in the state of Georgia will be able to find a job.
“It’s definitely on the uptick. Everybody is coming here from L.A. Everybody that I work with. There are people that I work with, the decorators and the directors,” said Elaina Winters, a graduate of the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, who has worked on several movie as a set designer.
“It’s the most exciting time in this creative business ever. There’s never been a better time,” said Hank Richardson, Director of Design at Portfolio Center.
“I think it’s phenomenal,” said Portfolio Center graduate, James Harrill, a photographer who’s worked on films in Atlanta.
Most recently, Oprah Winfrey’s movie ‘Selma’ hired well over 1,500 actors, models, and crew members to work on the Academy Award nominated movie. In addition, that movie alone made a $10.3 million impact on the Georgia Film industry.
The movie, nominated for a best-picture and best-song Academy Award, paid more than $5 million in wages to more than 400 Georgia crew members, hired close to 1,500 cast and extras, spent $375,000 on 3,000 hotel room nights, spent $470,000 on wardrobe purchases and maintenance, contract4d $180,000 worth of lumber, hardware and supplies and spent more than $200,000 on catering and food and more than $130,000 on car rentals, the MPAA said.
Currently, Georgia’s filming industry employs 23,000 workers, supports over 77,000 jobs and pays $1.6 billion in wages. With the new film academy expect the film industry to soar in the next few months.