Though many a Georgian is still likely to mock the Left Coast or the politics of the entertainment industry, actors, producers and directors alike, industry trade publications and elsewhere are praising Georgia, the realities of Southern hospitality and the new-found rarity of communities routinely excited about becoming a location production site. Even jobs you might not expect are growing in this right-to-work state. Georgia’s film industry union is IATSE Local 479. During 2006-2007, the shop had 400 members. It has been gaining roughly 200 new dues-paying members per quarter, with 4,000 current members, making it the largest studio mechanic local in the country.
And the primary difference between previous film spurts — by Burt Reynolds, and others in Georgia filming before — is that the industry is putting down roots, and building studios as well as a skilled work force. According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) there are 28,656 Georgians now employed in film and television production, and 12,518 more working in a production-related field.
The original underlying Georgia Film Tax Credit law went on the books in 2005, it was expanded in 2008 and again in 2017, Gov. Nathan Deal signed two bills extending these credits to the post-production and video gaming industries. The state projects that roughly $957 million in tax revenues have been abated by the program, versus billions in direct and indirect economic impact and thousands of full- and part-time artists and craftsman employed.
The costs of an entire film production can be written down to up to 20 percent in Georgia income tax credits, with an additional 10 percent credit for including a blazing Georgia Peach logo in the film credits. As many production companies don’t call Georgia home and have little tax consequence here, those film credits may be sold for 60-95 cents on the dollar to wealthy Georgians with significant tax liabilities, or bundled and sold as a tax shelter to larger groups of smaller taxpayers.
See more at The Brunswick News.