Four things I learned about a massive movie complex in S. Georgia

A sprawling movie studio complex – slated to be the biggest in the U.S. — is supposed to be open for business near Savannah.

I saw just one itsy-bitsy problem: It’s not.

It’s not even partly built. The site in Effingham County is just countryside along I-16. A little company that goes by two names, Moon River Studios and FONU2, says some work will start soon.

Georgia has gotten big into movie making, and sound stages are popping up. But none are as big as what Moon River says it will do, if only it can get funding.

Here are four things to keep in mind:

  • The plans are audacious (and expensive): 20 to 30 sound stages, post-production facilities, workshops and warehouses and backlots are just the start. Moon River also says it will have hotels, a concert venue and more.
  • The company doesn't have enough money to keep operating for long, its own auditors say. But the company manages to put out lots of press releases about itself.
  • Penny Marshall, the actress who played Laverne in the TV show Laverne & Shirley, is supposed to be working with Moon River. But some things need to be worked out.
  • Soon, Effingham officials may have to decide whether to stick with the company or kill its lease on the public site.

Find out more about Effingham's big movie saga and a former stock trader's role, all in Matt Kempner's Unofficial Business column on