Have you caught a glimpse of movie stars such as Reese Witherspoon or Owen Wilson at your favorite restaurant? No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. In fact, the state of Georgia is becoming known as the “Hollywood of the South” thanks to the incentives our government provides to the film industry.
Through the Entertainment Industry Investment Act, originally signed by Gov. Sonny Purdue in May 2005 and updated in May 2008, companies that spend a certain amount of money on production or post-production here are eligible for a 20 percent tax break. Considered one of the best incentive programs in the country, if not the best in the country, the law also allows for an additional 10 percent tax break if there is promotional material that was provided by the state in the finished product.
By providing these tax incentives to people involved in the film industry, the state has effectively found a huge source of revenue that is relatively easy to draw in. Georgia is now considered one of the top five production destinations in the country, thanks in large part to the mild climate and varied landscapes our state possesses on top of the tax benefits. The revenue created by the film industry not only boosts our state’s economy, but it helps create job growth in multiple industries. Currently, the entertainment industry provides more than 25,000 jobs, and we all know more jobs equals greater demand for new homes in Atlanta. And, in 2012 alone, the direct economic benefits of film production in Georgia came to nearly $3.1 billion.
Since 2008, more than 30 industry-specific supplier companies have either expanded or relocated to the metro Atlanta area. Companies such as Atlanta Film Studios Paulding County, EUE/Screen Gems Studios Atlanta, Raleigh Studios at Riverwood, Paskal Lighting and Panavision, the world leader in camera equipment, all call Atlanta home. Also located here are Tyler Perry Studios, Turner Studios and Rainforest Films. These companies not only bring jobs to the metro area, but they also boost the appeal of our city and home values.
There are a record number of television series’ currently shooting in Georgia, including The Walking Dead, Single Ladies, Auction Kings, Necessary Roughness, Vampire Diaries and Drop Dead Diva. For those movie or television buffs who have a favorite movie or show that was filmed in the metro Atlanta area, Atlanta Movie Tours can show you all of the sights. Started in January of 2012, the company takes you on guided, planned tours or customized tours for a larger group of people. The three hour tours take you to locations of shows currently filming in Georgia, or to see your sights from your favorite movies like Gone With the Wind or Remember the Titans.
So, don your sunglasses because the future of Georgia as a leading role in your favorite shows and movies, and as a result, a top market for job and housing growth, is bright.