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The Excalibur

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Olivia Jenkins, Staff Member

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Georgia’s film industry turns the Peach state in one of the most coveted locations in the country for famous movie productions.

The glitz and glam of Hollywood is no longer a country’s width away from Atlanta natives as Georgia is rapidly becoming the “it” town for film and television production. With movies like Ant Man, Hunger Games, Captain America and many more almost entirely being produced in this southern gemstone, Georgia is currently experiencing a boom in its film industry, bringing in jobs, credibility, and most of all, money for the peach state.

This influx of business came in 2008, thanks to former Governor Sonny Perdue’s signature on the Entertainment Industry Investment Act, designed to encourage productions in Georgia. The governor approved this decision by describing the “excellent talent base and outstanding locations that are making Georgia a very desirable place to film.”  But more importantly, Governor Perdue explained how “this legislation puts in place the economic cornerstone that will encourage producers to convert that desire into action.” The legislation being referred to is Georgia’s desirous tax incentive program for the film industry in which just filming and hiring locals to the production offer a 20% tax break. In addition to this already enticing proposal, an added 10% is given to those who include the animated Georgia promotional logo within the finished product, usually in the end credits. Compared to the historical Hollywood, Georgia’s incentives reach a wider amount of companies by having an uncapped budget and whose bonus of 10% is double California’s.

Almost immediately after the act was signed, Georgia received business offers, but soon realized a base of trained workers was needed rather than, the foreigners coming in and taking the jobs. Five new studios were slated for production, including the world renowned Pinewood Studios, and also to house the video game development as well as the animation innovative industries. Lee Thomas, the deputy commissioner of the GA film commission, supports this by suggesting that the growth in infrastructure will continue as mass digitization, efficiency and incentive programs further develop as well.

Georgia has also promoted many schools to be aware of this up and coming industry that has already brought in thousands of jobs and is only increasing. Programs like the Georgia Film Academy offer a collaborative effort with the University and Technical College System of Georgia by certifying, connecting, and preparing students on their way to this career path. These opportunities allow for the current millennial generation to become the future well trained workforce they need.

At the same time as Georgia is preparing for its future relations with this industry, these companies traveling to Georgia are currently helping local businesses continue. From catering companies, hotel services, and heating and air conditioning on set, the immense and beneficial amount of money large corporations are leaving behind is not solely from direct work on the final product but also the everyday amenities needed for those working for a few months in Georgia. But more specific to the product, large companies are employing local casting agencies, studios, artisans etc. and renting out parking lots and public buildings to have direct use in the film television series, whether it be through hiring extras or designing the wardrobe. Whatever the job may be, hiring local workers significantly reduces costs for producers as they don’t need to be flown in and Georgia’s relaxed labor rules allow for nonunion employees.

Overall, the State has generated an economic impact of more than $6 billion due to this industry locating to the south,  a 553% increase in spending from 2008’s total of $260.4 million on productions in Georgia. With growing social interests in this business, more training is encouraged to further educate and improve its workforce whilst also pursuing political decisions to continue to benefit the film industry.  Since the Entertainment Industry Investment Act was passed, this business venture has led to the development of Georgia, enabling the southern peach state to compete with some of the most popular nations of the world.

 

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