Gainesville Times Editorial: Show biz puts stars in Georgia’s eyes

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Georgia’s economy is best known for some of its tastiest exports, namely peaches, peanuts, chicken and Coca-Cola.

But a new industry has taken root that is turning our state into Hollywood South. The television and film industry has boomed in Georgia in recent years, fueled by major tax incentives and a diverse landscape of locales, including big city scenes,  small towns and lush natural environment.

The industry’s economic impact in Georgia is estimated at some $7.2 billion with nearly 300 productions scheduled this year, doubling that from a few years earlier, according to the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office.

The Motion Picture Association of America reports the industry is responsible for more than 85,300 jobs and nearly $4.2 billion in total wages in Georgia, employing more than 25,700 people directly and 2,700 more in related businesses.

Meanwhile, film crews and their stars fill hotel rooms, eat in restaurants and they keep other local businesses humming during their visits.

As the demand grows, the massive Pinewood Studios south of Atlanta in Fayetteville plans to double in size from its current capacity. To meet the need for jobs in the industry, universities and colleges have started or expanded film education programs to launch graduates into a film career.

This trend has been fueled by state tax incentives that offer up to a 30 percent credit for all film and TV productions shot in the state: a flat 20 percent, plus 10 percent more when they embed the Georgia logo in their program or take part in other promotional marketing.

See more at Gainesville Times.

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