Democratic Debate Symbolizes State Policy That’s Working in Film

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As Democratic presidential candidates on Wednesday debate in Atlanta, they’ll do so on a studio soundstage that is one of many built in the state since the introduction of Georgia’s film tax credit.

“This week’s debate in Atlanta highlighted more than Georgia’s electoral importance,” said Kelsey Moore, executive director of the Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition. “The event’s location at Tyler Perry Studios also brings attention to the fact that Georgia is now one of the top producers of TV and film content in the entire world. Debates give candidates a chance to convince voters their policies will work, and at this debate they’ll stand on a stage that exists – along with many others in Georgia – because of forward-looking policy.”

The soundstage that hosted the debate is one of more than 75 in the state, spread out over 12 studio providers. Before the state’s innovative film tax credit took effect in 2007, Georgia had only one studio.

With 399 productions in the last fiscal year, the industry spends nearly $3 billion per year in the state, with that figure set to grow exponentially over the next decade. Georgia’s film and TV industry is responsible for nearly 92,500 jobs and more than $5.2 billion in total wages. More than 85 percent of the people working on sets are Georgians, and the average salary for on set workers is $85,000.

“Georgia’s film tax credit is a policy success for the people of this state,” Moore said. “The Georgia film industry has invested millions in building infrastructure and training Georgians for high-paying jobs and fulfilling careers. More than 3,000 Georgia businesses – from caterers, to hotels, to lumber and hardware and lighting stores, to transportation and technology companies – benefit from this thriving and growing industry.

“As we enter another political season, we’ll hear many ideas for policy changes, but it’s also a good time to reflect and build awareness about a policy that is working and needs to continue.”

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