By now, we've all probably had a brush with Hollywood in the ATL. Some aspects are good (spotting a starlet on the Betline; crews buying things from local businesses) and some are bad (huge productions clogging traffic; the fact "The Watch" has Atlanta ties). In any case, the showbiz carnival is here to stay, as Gov. Nathan Deal told the Fox Business Channel this week. Said the guuvnah: "Last year we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 23,000 jobs that were created and representing about a $1.3 billion annual payroll, so as you can see, we have a great deal of permanency here." The Peach State finished fifth in the world last year in the budget value of films shot here, behind Canada, the United Kingdom, California and Louisiana. As Patch notes, Georgia's $415 million in budget value in that ranking didn't take into account TV production, for which Georgia is becoming famous.
This idea of "permanency" is interesting, implying that film companies won't simply pull up stakes and hike to the next tax-credit-rich state overnight. A wave of new physical infrastructure would support that idea. More than a dozen film studios are in the works or have opened already, including a massive 300-acre spread in Fayette County with five sound stages, where England's Pinewood Studios will make top-secret productions. In Norcross, Atlantic Station developer Jacoby plans to open a 400,000 square-foot media studio with a film school and student housing. Creative Loafing has poignantly raised the question of whether the tax credits Georgia is doling out are worth the tens of millions dollars in state revenue that's being sacrificed as a result. One way or another, it's cool to see an identity cultivated that has little to do with yesteryear racism or banjos.
· Gov. Deal on GA Film Industry: We Have 'Permanency' Here [Patch]
· Studio Might Actually Happen At Cursed Gwinnett Site [Curbed Atlanta]
· Georgia's blank check to Hollywood [Creative Loafing]
[AOVE: Image via Pintrest/AMC]