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Ten Things You Need to Know About Georgia's Film Industry



(Photo courtesy of Suwnanee Magazine, originally published in "Welcome to Y'allyWood")

Georgia’s film industry is booming. Whether you’re looking to get involved, get an idea, or get your next binge-watching inspiration, check out the ten things you need to know about Georgia’s film industry.

It’s like… really pretty.

Georgia is known for having picture perfect settings that are just as diverse as they are gorgeous. Geographically, the state has everything from sunny beaches to woodsy mountains. Looking for something a little more suitable for a close up? Try any of the state’s big city landmarks, cozy small towns, abandoned warehouses, or historic cabins.

But it’s also budget friendly.

While Georgia’s scenic settings have been around for a while, they really premiered in 2008, when then Governor Sonny Purdue signed into law the 2008 Entertainment Industry Investment Act. Today, production incentives can provide up to 30% of a project’s production expenditures in transferable tax credits, so long as the project pledges to spend at least $500,000 on Georgia-based businesses and staff. And it’s not just limited to big budget films. The tax credits are applicable to everything from commercials to game development, which means…

You’ve probably already seen Georgia on a screen near you.

In the past month alone, more than a dozen productions filmed in the Peach State have gathered significant national attention. HBO’s Sharp Objects, starring Amy Adams, for example, relied on Barnesville, GA to portray Wind Gap, Missouri, a town that, in some ways, is the most important aspect of the show. And not to name drop, but Georgia also served as settings in famous features like The Hunger Games, Stranger Things, more than a few Marvel movies, The Walking Dead, The Blind Side, and I, Tonya (just to name a few).

The state’s behind it.

This thriving industry could not have been created without a seriously strong support base. With a growing number of dollars in state and local government funding devoted to keeping Georgia camera ready, by establishing county filming liaisons and a developing variety of planning resources, any and all projects being filmed in the state will undoubtedly have all the help they could possibly need.

The more the merrier.

Support doesn’t just come in the form of state resources, however. Georgia’s thriving filming network is just that - a network. The Georgia Department of Economic Development explains:

“Over the last several years, hundreds of companies have located in Georgia to provide support to the burgeoning film industry. These service companies — soundstages, lighting companies, caterers, camera houses — are not eligible to take advantage of the film tax credit, however, they have made substantial financial commitments in the state due to the level of film and television business here. The new support business as well as the many film and television studio facilities that are locating or expanding in Georgia create permanent jobs for costume and set designers, electricians, camera operators, actors and other industry skilled professionals.”

This ain’t Hollywood.

The south is known for its southern hospitality. When you get involved down here, you’ll find an unending amount of courtesy and friendliness. Yes there’s competition - business is business after all, y’all - but Georgia offers an environment that differs significantly from the Hollywood many in the business might be used to.

Get schooled.

One way the south is giving the movie making industry a warm welcome is by providing extensive training to make professionals feel right at home. In fact, just recently, for the first time in 20 years, Georgia’s state education system revisited its fine arts curriculum and revised it to include a nod to Georgia's booming film industry. New classes will be offered to students in select counties in screenwriting, set design and production. A comprehensive Georgia Film Academy has also been established to equip those in the community with all the knowledge they might need, alongside support from numerous private training programs.

It blows cubicle living away.

A good work/life balance is crucial. Thankfully, film industry professionals can work and play throughout the state. In January of 2018, MovieMaker Magazine went so far as to name Atlanta the No. 1 large city and Savannah the No. 2 small city for filmmakers to live and work.

It’s only getting bigger.

Georgia-lensed productions generated an economic impact of more than $9.5 billion during fiscal year 2017, and with a number of productions still in progress and slated to be published within the next year, the Georgia industry is undoubtedly headed toward an even more star studded future.

You can get involved.

Even camera newbies can get in on the action, with opportunities in everything from extra roles to on set support. But whatever angle you’re trying to capture for yourself, Bentley Media is just one way you can create compelling video content and leverage all the great resources the state has to offer. Start production today by reaching out to hello@bentleymediallc.com

#georgiafilm #yallywood #atlanta #georgiafilmtaxcredit #movieproduction

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