With Georgia’s Film Tax Credits Appearing Secure, Industry Continues To Bounce Back From Pandemic

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Steve Mensch, who oversees operations at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, says just a few months into the pandemic last year, the studio started quarantining hundreds of cast and crew members in on-site housing.

He says that created a blueprint of how to get back to work. Now, he says, they’re booked through the end of 2021.

“For the very first time, I have no space on the lot,” Mensch told the House Creative Arts and Entertainment committee on Wednesday. “Usually we’re able to squeeze a piece of work in here or there, but we are absolutely at capacity.”

With just 10 legislative days left in the session, lawmakers on the new committee aren’t signaling any changes to Georgia’s generous film tax credits. One bill that would have repealed the credits, sponsored by Republican Rep. David Clark, has not received a committee hearing.

“I think the level of confidence and comfort in the work, the stability of the incentive here has been incredibly helpful,” said Mensch.

But it’s not just the film industry – or metro Atlanta — that is seeing brighter days.

“Things have gotten so good since January. I would not have believed this four or five months ago, how busy we are,” said Beth Nelson with the Savannah Regional Film Commission. She says restaurants and hotels that have seen tourism dollars dry up are coming back to life, too.

“By getting these rooms rented out to production people has really filled a gap that they were experiencing,” said Nelson. See more at WABE.

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