Posted on June 28, 2017 in Miscellaneous
11 Reasons Why You Should be Shooting Your Movie in Georgia
With 235 film and TV productions shot in the past year alone, Georgia’s film industry is booming—and shows no signs of slowing down.
Currently, there are over 45 movies and TV shows shooting in Georgia, securing our spot as the #1 film production center in the world.
Projects recently shot here include The Hunger Games, Captain America: Civil War, Stranger Things, and The Walking Dead.
If you’re scouting locations for your next film project, there’s no reason to travel abroad. Right here in Georgia, you’ll find everything you need, from locations to crew to studio space— all because of a game-changing tax incentive.
Please feel free to share this infographic.
Keep reading to learn even more about all of the benefits the Peach State has to offer:
1. Everything costs less here
We mean it. EVERYTHING is less expensive— restaurants, supermarkets, transportation, utilities, rent— the works.
We all know that shooting a movie can get expensive, but in Atlanta, you don’t have to compromise between those extra costs of feeding and housing your crew and other necessities for your project.
As compared to Los Angeles:
Food is 8% cheaper
Transportation is 11% cheaper
Clothes are 12% cheaper
Entertainment is 17% cheaper
and if you’d like to stick around after your project is complete, housing runs about 25% cheaper in Atlanta than in Los Angeles.
If you’d like to see a full comparison of the cost of living between Los Angeles, CA and Atlanta, GA, expatistan.com has compiled one here.
2. The tax incentives are unbeatable
If the above financial differences aren’t enough to convince you, check this out: Georgia offers up to a 30% tax credit if you shoot your movie here.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a 20% transferable tax credit is provided to productions that spend at least $500,000, with no limit on spending that can be applied to the credit— as long as all of the spending was done in Georgia.
The extra 10% is tacked on top if the production includes the promotional “Made in Georgia” peach logo in their credits and a link to www.ExploreGeorgia.org/Film on the project’s promotional website.
Further requirements for the tax credit include proof that all production expenditures were made in Georgia from approved Georgia vendors. The credit may be applied to travel and insurance as well, if they were also arranged via a Georgia company. Costs that don’t apply include development costs, promotion, marketing, license fees, and story right fees.
If you’re not yet sure who you would like to hire to score your project, consider a Georgia musician— music scoring done in Georgia can also be applied to the tax credit.
Because of this incredible bonus, Georgia is helping the United States as a whole to remain the single largest film production hub in the world.
3. We want you here
Jobs are perhaps the greatest bonus for the state of Georgia.
Senoia, a small town about 40 miles south of Atlanta, was in desperate need of an economical boost only a few years ago. Thanks to the tax incentives now offered by the state of Georgia, Senoia ended up on the radar of a few producers at AMC’s The Walking Dead. The series began shooting there regularly, and the town grew a brand-new tourism industry, increasing the number of local businesses from 5 to 50.
Covington— a rural town about 35 miles east of Atlanta— was home to a few key sets of the CW’s The Vampire Diaries. Thanks to the show, direct spending from tourists in the county shot to $107 million in 2012— a $60 million dollar increase from 2002.
4. You can do post-production here too
With many high-profile projects having already established their shooting schedules in Georgia, our next goal is to encourage filmmakers to stay here for post-production after shooting has wrapped.
After House Bill 199 passed in the state, the tax incentives that apply to productions shot in Georgia now apply to projects that are post-produced here— even if the projects were shot elsewhere. The base requirement for the post-production tax credit is a minimum of a $250,000 payroll in Georgia, plus the minimum $500,000 spent in Georgia.
“The next era of growth is the post-production industry here in Georgia,” says Craig Miller, owner of Craig Miller Productions and chair of the Georgia Film, Music, & Digital Entertainment Advisory Commission. “We’re seeing movies like The Avengers, where all of the ideas are coming out of L.A., so people go back to California to finish the movie. What we want to see is people not only shooting here but sticking around for the post-production process— that’s our next step.”
5. We’re training your tech crew right here
There’s no reason to drive up your budget by flying in an entire crew from around the world.
Right here in Georgia, unions and local universities are training new, eager crew members for every field and working to ensure that you’re getting the best people for the job. Since there’s no time for training crew members on-site, these programs are dedicated to intensive training that fully prepares crew members for the rigorous day-to-day activities of working on a movie set.
Georgia State University, located right here in downtown Atlanta, GA, offers both undergraduate and graduate curriculums in film, video, and digital imaging.
Kay Beck, professor of communication and director of the Digital Arts and Entertainment Lab at Georgia State University says “Half of the people working in the film industry in Georgia went to Georgia State or are studying here.”
Georgia State grads have seen great success in the industry, with involvement in projects such as a documentary following Oprah Winfrey through the creation of her own TV network and a recurring role on NBC’s The Office. You can read more about GSU’s success stories here.
The University of Georgia, located just about an hour outside of Atlanta in the city of Athens, offers a degree in Entertainment and Media Studies, which encompasses training in video production, screenwriting, and digital media production.
Also hard at work is the Georgia Film Academy, a program dedicated to training and finding hands-on experience for Georgians in all behind-the-scenes work. The GFA offers an 18-credit hour course that includes an internship on a project that’s currently being produced in Georgia.
6. You’ve got top-of-the-line equipment at your disposal
Once you’ve organized your crew, finding the right equipment will be a breeze— Atlanta offers ample sound and film equipment for every project in the city and in the surrounding metro area.
“Great equipment can significantly increase the production value of a film,” says Mark Wofford, General Manager of Production Consultants & Equipment, based in Atlanta. “With PC&E, you’ve got everything you could ever need right here under one roof. We offer cameras, lighting and grip equipment, and even sound stages right here in Atlanta.”
“I’m glad so many filmmakers are discovering what we at PC&E have known about Atlanta for over 30 years. Everything you need from great crew, the latest gear, talented actors, and amazing locations are right here. There’s not a better place to be,” says Mark.
Production Consultants and Equipment (PC&E) has provided equipment for high-profile Atlanta-based projects for over 30 years. Their most recent clients include Pitch Perfect 3, Stranger Things, and Fast & Furious 8.
7. There’s a plethora of on-camera talent
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia is home to over 2,000 employed actors— the largest number in the southeast, and the 3rd largest in the country, behind California and New York.
With all of the blockbuster buzz spreading around the area, extras casting has also grown to be very popular among locals, whether they be actors seeking a foot in the door to the industry or those just interested in making some extra cash.
There are a multitude of resources, Facebook groups, etc. geared towards people excited to spend their days on local sets, employing hundreds of actors of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities. Some of the most notable casting companies include New Life Casting, Extras Casting Atlanta, and Rose Locke Casting.
If your production needs happen to extend beyond humans, we even offer local animals casting.
8. Other local industries are happy to accommodate you
Film projects require more than just a crew and great equipment— What about feeding them and making sure they have a safe place to stay?
Hospitality, travel, and food service industries have been enjoying the benefits of Georgia’s large film productions recently. With the massive amount of people required to make a movie happen, many hotels and catering companies are booked solid for months at a time.
The Buckhead branch of the InterContinental Hotels Group, located right here in Atlanta, is dedicated to creating a “home away from home” for many production crew members set up in Georgia. The InterContinental Buckhead, among other hotels in the area, provide numerous amenities and personalized service to film-crew members as they adjust to their packed and sometimes unpredictable shooting schedules.
Some local catering companies who typically service general events such as corporate gatherings and weddings have added catering options specifically for events within the film industry, such as day-to-day catering for your crew. Talk of the Town Catering has provided service to both The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries.
The industry’s influence is even trickling down to carpenters and electricians, who are often hired to build new movie sets on any of our local sound stages; and some police officers, who are able to make a few extra dollars rerouting traffic or overseeing a road closing for some shoots.
9. We have diverse geography
Georgia has it all— beaches, plains, urban backdrops or small-town charm, mountains, swamps— everything.
In Georgia, you can capture a beautiful mountainous backdrop, then cruise through a bustling urban street in the same day— the Appalachian region begins just about an hour’s drive outside of downtown Atlanta.
If you’re looking for a cityscape, Atlanta’s skyline offers a refreshing dose of greenery (they don’t call us the “city in a forest” for nothing!), as opposed to the more commonly-photographed skylines of major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago.
If the city isn’t quite what you’re looking for, take a drive through the southern half of the state through our smaller towns, home to some good, old-fashioned southern charm and hospitality. As mentioned above, Senoia and Covington have already been discovered, with hundreds more still waiting in the wings— many of which are still only about an hour or two’s drive outside of Atlanta.
Also, with mild winters and a temperate climate, you can comfortably shoot outdoors in Georgia year-round. Shooting in January but need a green, summer-y backdrop? Stop by our coastal town of Savannah for foliage that remains green year-round.
The only climate we can’t offer?
That would be bone-dry desert, which can of course be created on any of our local sound stages.
10. We have ample studio space
High-quality staging is crucial for increasing production value. Luckily for you, Georgia has numerous options for you to choose from.
“There are over 45 movies and TV shows shooting in Georgia as we speak,” Craig Miller told us. “And we want to see this growth amongst studios all over the state.”
Pinewood Studios, based in London, now owns a complex in Georgia as well that boasts 11 stages— some as large as 30,000 square feet.
Tyler Perry’s new studio complex will be completed later this year, which sprawls over 330 acres over former army base Fort McPherson. When finished, it will be among the largest film studio spaces in the country, and certainly won’t be limited to Tyler Perry’s personal projects. Plans are in place to accommodate outside projects such as The Walking Dead and HBO’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Plans are also underway to construct a five-stage complex just outside of the city of Atlanta in Clayton County, beginning in September 2017.
This project will be backed by Pacifica Ventures— owner of several state-of-the-art film production facilities in the film and television industry. Pacifica Ventures also manages Albuquerque Studios in New Mexico, USA, which opened in 2007 and saw several high-profile productions such as The Avengers, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and Independence Day: Resurgence.
Pacifica Venture’s new studio will cover 20 acres total, featuring a nearby 60,000-square-foot retail space that will become offices and workshops.
All in all, Georgia offers about 45 sound stages, totaling about 2 million square feet.
11. SHOFUR can transport your cast and crew everywhere they need to go
Shofur is the most trusted bus reservation service in North America. The company currently services more than 100 cities nationwide and has logged more than 5 million miles with no accidents to help more than 1 million customers get from point to point faster.
We’re here for you when the thought of transporting your entire crew becomes too daunting to handle. With everything you’ve already got on your plate, let us handle finding you the perfect bus for all of your transportation needs.
Looking for your next transportation need to be fulfilled? Contact us today at 1-800-436-8719 or check out our charter bus rental guide.
Between Georgia’s tax incentives, the local talent, and the vast amount of space we have here, there’s nowhere to go but up. Not only will you save money on your production, but you’ll be among the first to put to use the hundreds of square miles of untapped space all over Georgia, all while giving employment opportunities to locals. “Now, there are over 80,000 Georgians employed in the industry. About 5% of the people who travel here stay here, buy a house, and become a Georgian,” says Craig Miller– and that’s exactly what we hope to see in the future. We believe that what the film industry needs is a healthy dose of southern hospitality– and Georgia is happy to oblige.
Published by Madeline Parks
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