The Savannah Film Alliance will lead a delegation of film and television professionals from the Savannah area to participate in Film Day at the Capitol in Atlanta on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The purpose of the event is to demonstrate to state legislators how significantly the film and television industry impacts the state and to emphasize how crucial it is to protect the tax credits and other incentives that have made Georgia the top filming destination in the country.
“Gov. Deal has been very supportive of the industry, but as this is his last term, it’s imperative to not only remind our current legislators of the importance of these incentives but also to send that message to all potential future elected officials,” said Charles Bowen, founder of the Savannah Film Alliance. “We must continue to be vigilant and not allow other states to threaten the progress we’ve made.”
Bowen, who is a business and entertainment attorney and the owner of Southern Gateway Production Services, cautioned that the momentum that has carried Georgia to the vanguard of the production world must not be allowed to diminish. Since 2016, Georgia has hosted more feature film and television productions than any other location in the world. Further, despite the tremendous advantage Atlanta has over Savannah in terms of sound stages and other infrastructure, local direct spending on film and television productions in the Savannah area has risen from $18 million in 2014 to well over $60 million in 2017.
Bowen said he credits much of the rise of Savannah’s popularity as a destination for filming to the innovative and unique local economic incentive offered by the Savannah Economic Development Authority. “2018 is already on pace to shatter the record for production dollars spent in Savannah in a single year,” Bowen said.
By encouraging people who have benefited from the film industry to attend Film Day at the Capitol, Bowen said he hopes all legislators, including those on the local level, will continue to be committed to providing incentives, resources, and opportunities to bring filmmakers to the Savannah area. “The entertainment industry boosts almost every industry in town,” Bowen said. “When a film or television production comes to Savannah, they require all of the goods and services the town has to offer, thus they benefit the entire local business community. It is crucial that we don’t lose sight of the incredible impact the film industry is having on our local economy and that we strive to continue improving the experience and services offered visiting productions.”
The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office is producing a video that will play in the rotunda during Film Day and will feature a photo montage of Georgians who have been impacted directly or indirectly by the industry. The Savannah Area Film Office is coordinating submissions of photos from the Savannah area for that production.
Film Day at the Capitol is set for Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St. SW in Atlanta. For more information, contact Charles Bowen at [email protected] or 912-544-2050.