“The unprecedented record-breaking numbers we are seeing for the state of Georgia with its film and entertainment efforts, we certainly in DeKalb County are seeing that too,” Decide DeKalb Development Authority Director of Marketing and Communications Terra Washington said.
All of this runs parallel to the DeKalb Entertainment Commission (DEC) which is a division under Decide DeKalb Development Authority (DDDA).
“From an economic development perspective – we are – even in the entertainment industry and sector, we’re still driving jobs,” Washington said. “We want to see DeKalb County residents working. We want to see them starting businesses that relate and spill over into the entertainment sector. We want to encourage our youth and create the next generation of writers, filmmakers, set designers. Whatever is required from a production perspective, we have it in DeKalb and we want to make sure we are taking care of that.”
Also on the call was DEC Marketing and Public Relations Consultant Deondai Colquitt who provided the number of film permit applications from 2011-2021 with estimates provided from 2011-2016 as not all data was collected during those times.
From 2011 to 2015, DeKalb County estimated 179 film permit applications with the number fluctuating in 2016 to 106, 156 in 2017, 148 in 2018 and a record year in 2019 with 189 applications approved.
When the pandemic came through in 2020, DeKalb County and the film world, as well as a multitude of industries, came to a halt and DeKalb County only managed to approve 75 applications to film.
“It was pretty devastating,” Washington said about the work stoppage due to the pandemic. “As with PPE and the various loans that were available, I think for DEC they wanted to tap into that creative arts and culture community to see exactly what they’d need. See more here.