19.02.2019 11:18:10

The new Hollywood

Why Georgia’s film industry is up and rising


320 films and TV shows were shot in Georgia during 2017. The economic impact from the film industry was more than $9.5 billion in the fiscal year of 2017, quadrupling several times over from nine years earlier. “Everybody around the world is watching the growth that Atlanta is experiencing now,” said Frank Patterson, president of Pinewood Atlanta Studios. The economic impact not even a decade ago was $244 million. Several box-office movies were filmed in Georgia, including Spiderman: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and the Netflix megahit Stranger Things. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that FilmL.A. named Georgia the No. 1 filming location in the world! At this point, you’re probably thinking: Why Georgia?

Ease of access and low cost of living

The ease of access is mentioned as one of the main factors to Georgia’s booming film industry. The Atlanta airport Hartsfield-Jackson is the busiest airport in the world, as well as being the first airport in the world to serve more than 100 million passengers in a single year. A staggering number of 29 000 Georgians are directly employed by the state’s film industry, and another 12 500 people work in a production-related field. The fairly low cost of living combined with the ease of access that the airport provides, has made the transition to an Atlanta-based life a smooth one. 

Encouragement from state-level government

Not only is the climate temperate and the scenarios diverse, there’s also a pretty substantial tax break involved in having your film company based in Georgia. The state’s film incentive program gives production companies a 30% tax credit on qualified money spent, which is anything that is directly related to the production of the movie. Even though the tax credit itself isn’t unique for Georgia, the fact there isn’t a cap on the money spent, is. Most states cap tax credit reimbursements for anything that is considered “above the line”, which you won’t find in Georgia. This long-term incentive is meant to further encourage production companies to put down roots and infrastructure, help to grow the community even more. The tax credit reimbursement is mentioned as one of the biggest reasons why California and more specifically, Hollywood, is losing production business. The state is dominated by low-budget web content, mainly due to their lack of tax credit support for big-budget productions.

Largest film sound stage in Atlanta

Sound stage complexes like Pinewood Atlanta Studios, among others, make it possible for so many productions to film here in Georgia at the same time. Chick-Fil-A CEO decided to partner with the U.K. based Pinewood Studios and opened up the Atlanta branch in 2014. Since the opening day, the studio’s 18 stages have been booked out with movies like Captain America: Civil War and Ant man. Pinewood Atlanta offers a full scope of service ranging from technicians, on-site vendors studio space, locations and varying expertise. Even though Pinewood Atlanta Studio is the largest film sound stage complex in metro Atlanta, it’s getting even bigger. Late last year, the studio center started looking into annexing 24.5 acres (on top of the 700 acres they have today) to open up a second media center. Business is definitely booming!