ATLANTA, Feb. 22, 2016 – The Georgia Film Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), today celebrated Georgia’s thriving film and television industry at Film Day at the Capitol. Governor Deal, Speaker David Ralston, GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr and Georgia Film Academy Executive Director Jeffrey Stepakoff spoke during the celebration to recognize the industry and its importance to Georgia’s economy.
“The unwavering support from Gov. Deal and our elected officials, by offering a stable and consistent production tax incentive, gives Georgia’s film industry the long term sustainability it needs to continue attracting a record number of productions,” said Chris Carr, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Our competitive incentive, combined with our diverse landscape, deep talent pool, extensive array of sound stages, community readiness, and the accessibility, are the reason why Georgia is one of the top states for film and television production.”
Georgia-lensed productions generated a record-breaking economic impact of $6 billion during the 2015 fiscal year (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015). Georgia also saw record investment from film and television productions with more than $1.7 billion in direct spending in the state. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, the film and television industry is responsible for more than 79,000 jobs and roughly $4 billion in total wages in Georgia. These are high-quality jobs, with an average salary of nearly $84,000, 75 percent higher than the average salary nationwide.
Today’s event highlights the many ways this industry impacts communities in terms of jobs and investment opportunities across the state. To ensure Georgia has enough skilled crew to accommodate the growth of this industry - Gov. Deal established the Georgia Film Academy. This partnership between the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia was created to help meet the industry’s rising demand. In January 2016, four inaugural campuses opened at Clayton State University, Columbus State University and Gwinnett Technical College and Pinewood Atlanta Studios with subsequent campuses opening in the coming months. The Academy offers a two-course certification program specifically designed to provide students with a basic level of on-set film production skills, knowledge and experience with film-industry standard organizational structure, professional equipment and on-set procedures through extensive hands-on experience.
“Part of what makes Georgia so attractive to filmmakers is the number of companies and support services that are here to assist their productions,” said Lee Thomas, Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Film Office, a division of GDEcD. “Over the past five years hundreds of new companies have located to Georgia to support the industry and we are very appreciative of the contributions they have made, and continue to make to Georgia’s film industry.”
During fiscal year 2015, Georgia was home to 248 feature films; television movies and series; commercials; and music videos that were shot across the state. Georgia-filmed movies to be released in the next few weeks include “Triple 9” starring Aaron Paul, Casey Affleck, Kate Winslet and Norman Reedus on Feb. 26; “Allegiant: Part 1” starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet on March 18; and “Miracles from Heaven” starring Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah also on March 18.
A few other Georgia projects slated to hit theaters this year include “Captain America: Civil War” starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson on May 6; “The Nice Guys,” partially filmed in Georgia, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe on May 20; “Scully” starring Tom Hanks on Sept. 9; and “The Accountant” starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick and Jon Bernthal on Oct. 7.
In addition, a record number of television series are shot in Georgia including AMC’s “The Walking Dead;” CW’s “The Vampire Diaries;” BET’s “Being Mary Jane”; FOX’s “Sleepy Hollow;” SundanceTV's “Rectify;” Lifetime’s “Devious Maids;” PlayStations’s “Powers;” and Netflix’s “Stranger Things” set to debut in the summer of 2016.
Feature films in preproduction or currently in production in Georgia include “Passengers” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt; “Baywatch” starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron; “Fast 8” starring Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson; “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” starring Chris Pratt; and “Thank You for Your Service” starring Miles Teller and Amy Schumer.
To find out more about Georgia’s film industry and to explore the state’s growing film tourism sites, please visit TourGeorgiaFilm.com.