Film industry opportunities lead back to Georgia

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When Scott Nickelson graduated from high school in New Mexico in the 1990s, he came straight to Georgia. It was a state he always wanted to live in, and he was determined to build a life here.

But big dreams hit harsh reality, and Scott returned to New Mexico to spend the next decade or so working in a series of jobs. It was one of those jobs — as a technician with Exchange Communications — that led him back to Georgia and landed him in the middle of the state’s ever-growing film and television industry.

“I thought I’d never get back to Georgia, but that didn’t turn out to be true,” says Scott, who returned to Georgia in 2007 and now lives in Rome, GA, with his wife and son. “It was the film industry that brought me back, and the film industry that keeps me here.”

Exchange Communications, founded in 1996 in Santa Fe, NM, creates custom IT and communications services for remote locations. The company also has offices in Albuquerque, NM; New Orleans, LA; Los Angeles; New York; and Honolulu.

In Georgia alone, Exchange Communications has created custom solutions for hundreds of film and television production sets across the state.

Scott was once the lone Exchange Communication’s employee based in Georgia. Business here has grown to support five full-time employees and additional contractors. Early work in Georgia included “Drop Dead Diva” and “Vampire Diaries,” and the company’s list of recent projects include “Avengers End Game,” “Venom,” “Gemini Man,” and “Godzilla.”

“When I first returned to Georgia, I was still jumping on airplanes to head to work at our projects around the country,” says Scott. “That’s certainly not the case now — I’m busy right here in Georgia, and that’s great for me, and great for my family.”

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

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