Movies, music and gaming recruited to DeKalb County

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Movies, music and gaming recruited to DeKalb County

DeKalb County is starting an effort to become a bigger player in Georgia’s booming entertainment industry.

The DeKalb Entertainment Commission, a government agency that will launch Wednesday, will provide government support to movie, TV, music and video game businesses to the county.

State tax credits worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually already made Georgia the top filming location in the nation last year, according to a study by FilmLA, which bills itself as the official film office of the Greater Los Angeles region.

Productions like “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “Atlanta” and “Stranger Things” are filmed in DeKalb.

More features will be likely to locate in DeKalb if the county provides set locations, a smooth permitting process and a trained workforce, said Shelbia Jackson of the DeKalb Entertainment Commission.

“The purpose of the commission is to help us build an ecosystem that supports the industry in DeKalb,” Jackson said. “The tax credit has been instrumental in bringing the industry here, and we want to be supportive and keep them here.”

A new website for the commission, dekalbentertainment.com, puts the film permitting process online so it won’t be limited to the county’s business hours, she said.

The commission also wants to work with students to find them jobs and prepare them for careers in the entertainment industry, she said.

In the future, Jackson hopes the county builds a large performing arts center or civic center.

The DeKalb Entertainment Commission is funded through $205,000 approved by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners in May. That funding pays for one full-time and several part-time positions this year.

Third Rail Studios in Doraville is one of three major studios already located in DeKalb, along with Blackhall Studios and Eagle Rock Studios. The county is trying to grow the industry by launching the DeKalb Entertainment Commission.
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