Georgia gets $9.5 billion impact from movies

Gov. Nathan Deal speaking at Film Day at the Georgia Capitol in March. Photo/Submitted.

The state hosted 320 productions since last summer, many in Fayetteville’s Pinewood Studios

Georgia’s television and film industry continues to be a hit for the state’s economy. Gov. Nathan Deal on July 10 announced that film and television productions in Georgia came with an economic impact of $9.5 billion during Fiscal Year 2017.

Georgia-lensed feature film and television productions generated an economic impact of $9.5 billion during FY 2017. The 320 feature film and television productions shot in Georgia represent $2.7 billion in direct spending in the state, Deal said.

“Georgia’s film industry supports thousands of jobs, boosts small business growth and expands offerings for tourists,” said Deal. “As one of the top places in the world for film, Georgia hosted a remarkable 320 film and television productions during the last fiscal year. These productions mean new economic opportunities and real investments in local communities. We are committed to further establishing Georgia as a top film destination and introducing film companies to the Camera-Ready backdrops available across Georgia.”

Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville, with 1 million sq. ft. of soundstage, production and office space, is arguably at the forefront of the industry in Georgia. Pinewood Atlanta hit the ground a few years ago with its first production, the tentpole production of Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man,” and continues to churn out movies hits. Currently in production in Fayetteville is the two-part “Avengers: Infinity War” with a budget of $1 billion.

“Literally hundreds of new businesses have relocated or expanded in Georgia to support this burgeoning industry – creating jobs for Georgians as well as economic opportunities for communities and small businesses,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Although these support services companies cannot claim the tax credits, they directly benefit from the increased amount of work in the state, and the fact that the savings from the Film Tax Credit are typically re-invested in the project, creating additional economic impact and activity for these Georgia-based businesses.”

The economic impact of the film industry can be felt across multiple sectors. In addition to camera, lighting and audio equipment, film companies use a wide range of support services during production including catering, construction, transportation, accounting and payroll and post-production.

“Georgia’s growth in the film industry – from $67.7 million in direct spending in FY 2007 to $2.7 billion in FY 2017 – is unprecedented, not only in production spend, but also in the amount of investment that has been made in infrastructure,” said Lee Thomas, GDEcD deputy commissioner for the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office. “The unwavering commitment to this industry by Governor Deal and the Georgia legislature has ensured Georgia’s place as a top destination for film and television.”

In 2017, the GDEcD Film and Tourism divisions partnered to celebrate the “Year of Georgia Film” to highlight Georgia’s film tourism sites, including local communities that have served as backdrops for movies and television productions since the 1970s.

Georgia-filmed movies scheduled to open in theaters in the coming months include:

• “Logan Lucky” starring Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum and Sebastian Stan, opens Aug. 18.

• “American Made” starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleason, opens Sept. 29.

• “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” starring Liam Neeson and Diane Lane, opens Sept. 29.

• “Thank You for Your Service” starring Miles Teller, Haley Bennett and Joe Cole, opens Oct. 27.

Upcoming television productions that will air in the next few months include:

• “Ozark” on Netflix starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, airs July 21.

• “Manhunt” on Discover starring Sam Worthington and Paul Bettany, airs Aug. 1.

• “Stranger Things” on Netflix, airs Oct. 27.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts events and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.