Gov. Deal talks about Pinewood expansion

Gov. Nathan Deal returned from a recent trip to England commenting on his visit with executives at Pinewood Shepperton PLC, the parent company of Pinewood Atlanta Studios. Part of the conversation included the idea of establishing a film academy in Georgia, with a possible location including an existing building at Pinewood Atlanta, Deal noted.

Deal said Pinewood executives were pleased with his proposed new academy to train Georgians for jobs in the film industry, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Deal mentioned the use of an existing building at Pinewood Atlanta Studios as one site for the academy, which could also include other locations.

Those familiar with the studio set-up know that the main studio lot on Veterans Parkway is situated on 288 acres while the Pinewood Production Centre, the former Rivers Elementary School, is located directly across Sandy Creek Road.

Pinewood Atlanta Studios is a joint project of Rivers Rock LLC and Pinewood Shepperton PLC, with the global film studio as a 40 percent shareholder, according to the Pinewood Group website.

The Pinewood Production Centre property, until recently, was solely owned by Rivers Rock II LLC. That changed recently when PInewood Atlanta Studios bought in to the production centre, with Rivers Rock II retaining the majority interest.

When it comes to the 28 acres on which the production centre is located, The Citizen in late 2013 ran a graphic representation of the property at build-out. The graphic showed numerous buildings on the former elementary school property and a number of other buildings on the adjacent 40-acre property to the north.

Developers associated with Pinewood Atlanta have from the beginning promoted the concept of having an educational component to the studio.

Currently under construction a short distance away on Veterans Parkway is Georgia Military College’s 26,000 sq. ft. classroom building.

Deal also said Georgia will continue the tax credits that initially drew the movie and television industry to the state. Beyond that, Deal spoke with Pinewood executives about the possibility of providing a post-production tax credit, according to ABC.

While post-production is often done in locations outside Georgia, Pinewood Atlanta Studios since its inception has envisioned having the infrastructure in place to accomplish that part of the film production process, said Pinewood Atlanta Studios Vice President of Operations Brian Cooper in a September 2013 interview with The Citizen.