Georgia film industry helps turn one-man operation into expanding business

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Most Georgians welcome the occasional snow day when the weather forces them to shelter at home and the day’s biggest accomplishment is the miniature snowman built in the yard. Rusty Brown, owner of JUNKitGEORGIA, is not one of them.

This Georgia native does not like to be held up by the weather. His ever-expanding company, based in Fayetteville, picks up trash and recycling from productions filmed around the state.

“At the busiest time of the year, we’ll work on 30 productions at one time,” says Rusty. “The Georgia film industry continues to grow and it will keep you on your toes.”

Over the past 10 years, Rusty has expanded from a one-man operation to three full-time employees, one part-time employee and four trucks. The team has worked on nearly 400 productions.

A serial-entrepreneur, Rusty decided to start a junk removal business in 2007 while recovering from heart surgery. He had a life-long interest in scrap and flea markets, aptly renaming himself ”Rusty” as a precocious six-year-old because he felt his given name, Harry Dennis, didn’t suit.  JunkItGA 3.jpg

JUNKitGEORGIA started out as a junk removal service for residential homes. In 2008, Rusty got a call from the location manager on the set of “My Fake Fiancé.” He jumped at the opportunity to expand into the film industry. Rusty designed and built sturdy, portable dumpsters for trash and recycling that he installed at the production’s base camp, craft services and catering areas.

Rusty set up a system that worked well for the productions. Film crews appreciate the multiple dump sites so they don’t have far to walk.  JUNKitGEORGIA stays out of the way of filming, too, coming late at night or early in the morning to set up or remove trash and recycling.

Rusty credits his business for making a difference in the life of one Atlanta man down on his luck. While picking up trash at a downtown Atlanta set, a homeless man asked if he needed any help. Rusty hired him for the day. It turned out to be the start of a long, mutually beneficial relationship. The man is a hard worker and he has worked for Rusty on and off over the past decade. Now he’s off the street and doing well, Rusty says.

“Trash removal is a tough business, no one wants to pick up trash,” says Rusty. “He turned out to be industrious and dependable. We helped each other out.”

The film industry has kept Rusty so busy that he’s ready to expand again — this time returning to where he started, business and residential junk removal.

“This year we hope to continue to grow,” says Rusty. “More studios are being built and more productions are being filmed in Georgia. It’s a great state to do business in, and it’s given me the opportunity to provide work for other Georgians.”

This story is presented in cooperation with the Georgia Studio & Infrastructure Alliance. Learn more about the Georgia Studio & Infrastructure Alliance.

 

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