The Georgia Film Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), celebrated Film Day at the Capitol today to recognize the state’s past, present and future in the film industry. Governor Nathan Deal, Speaker David Ralston and GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson recognized the record-breaking impact that the motion picture and television industry have in Georgia.
“Georgia continues to attract film and television productions because of our diverse landscape, deep talent pool, infrastructure, accessibility through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, as well as a stable and consistent production tax incentive,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Georgia’s economy is where it is today because of the support of Gov. Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Speaker Ralston and the entire Georgia General Assembly for recognizing the significant contributions that the film industry provides to communities across the state.”
Georgia-lensed productions generated an economic impact of more than $7 billion during fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the film and television industry is responsible for more than 85,000 jobs and $4.2 billion in wages, directly employing more than 25,000 Georgia residents.
The film industry not only creates jobs and investment in Georgia, it has created a thriving film tourism industry, drawing fans from all over the world to see the places that served as backdrops for their favorite film or television show. For this reason, in 2017, Georgia Tourism and the Georgia Film Office have partnered to celebrate the “Year of Georgia Film.”
Film productions have created opportunities for film tourism in numerous locations across the state, such as Covington, home to “The Vampire Diaries,” Senoia for “The Walking Dead,” Juliette for “Fried Green Tomatoes” and many others. The state quickly sees the positive impacts of the industry from the actual production spend; however, it is often long after the cameras stop rolling that communities see the additional impact from film tourism which can continue for decades. During the campaign, Georgia Tourism will focus their marketing efforts on digital, social, public relations and sales initiatives tailored to film-inspired tourism – including the locations, attractions, tours, experiences, events, restaurants and lodging that have all played vital roles in casting Georgia as a top-tier film destination.
“One reason that Georgia is attracting so many productions and filmmakers is the overwhelming support they receive from our communities, the new infrastructure and our trained workforce,” said Lee Thomas, Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Film Office. “We have seen hundreds of new companies locate to Georgia to support the booming film industry which provide jobs for Georgians as well as an increased tax base and investment opportunities in our state.”
In FY16, Georgia hosted 245 feature films, television movies and series, commercials, and music videos. Georgia-filmed movies set to be released in the next few weeks include “Gifted,” starring Chris Evans, Jenny Slate and Octavia Spencer on April 7; “Fast 8,” starring Vin Diesel, Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson on April 14; “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne debuting April 22 on HBO; “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” starring Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper on May 5; and “Baywatch,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron on May 26.
In addition, a record number of television shows are shot in Georgia. The acclaimed “Z: The Beginning of Everything” currently streaming on Amazon Prime; AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; CBS’s reboot of “MacGyver”; BET’s “Being Mary Jane”; OWN’s original drama series “Greenleaf”; Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” and “24: Legacy”; and Netflix’s “Stranger Things” are just a few of the projects that film in Georgia.
Feature films in preproduction or currently in production in Georgia include “Pitch Perfect 3,” “Jumanji,” “Lizzie,” “I, Tonya,” “Rampage,” and “Black Panther.”
To find out more about Georgia’s film industry and to explore the state’s growing film tourism sites, please visit ExploreGeorgia.org/Film.