Made in Georgia, The Hollywood of the South

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(The Philadelphia Sunday) Have you ever noticed the Georgia logo at the end of a movie or television program — or listened to the line “Made in Georgia” — and wondered what was their deeper significance. Georgia, the Film Capitol of the South, second only to California in the nation, was the scene of more than 245 productions and generated $7 billion in 2016. The industry exists throughout the state’s 159 counties, but really flourishes within a 50-mile radius of Atlanta due to film union regulations.

There are numerous tours that take visitors to actual locations, places visited by celebrities and immersive activities that make you feel part of the film world, and this is the “Year of Georgia Film.” The state is truly ready for its close-up.

Movies were made in the state in the 50s and 60s but in 1972 it was the profitable filming of “Deliverance” that made everyone really take notice. In 1973, then Governor Jimmy Carter created the GA Film Commission, initiating an active pursuit of the industry. Today, productions, both movie and television, can qualify for a 20% tax incentive, 30% if the logo is inserted at the end of the film. The state offers other unique draws, such as the only Home Depot in the world geared to film industry needs, and the GA Film Academy, created to teach skills needed, make-up artists, lighting, set design, etc., by studios. Currently, the most costly film ever made is being filmed in GA with a $1-billion budget.

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