Georgia a favorite for filmmakers

Tax credits, scenery make state a film favorite

With sightings from Ron Burgundy to Katniss Everdeen metro Atlanta has become the new home for Hollywood. But it’s not just our looks that have caught Tinseltown’s eye. On Sunday The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells the real story behind the film industry’s love affair with Georgia.

While industry folks love Atlanta’s airport, local talent base and pleasant but generic scenery, it’s something else that really gets their attention: Money.

"You shoot in Atlanta because it's cheap," filmmaker Peter Farrelly said during a Nerdist.com podcast recently when revealing plans to film the "Dumb and Dumber" sequel here later this summer.

A big reason for that is the gusher of Georgia tax credits that Hollywood has used, or more likely, sold, for cashrepresenting a hit of at least a $250 million to the state treasury from 2008 to 2011.

Georgia revamped and sweetened its tax credits in 2008, with the goal of becoming more competitive in a race among states to lure Hollywood out of Hollywood. It’s worked. Production spending here tripled to $880 million in fiscal 2012.

“In a stalled economy, this business has absolutely been thriving,” said local talent agent Mystie Buice. Before the the tax credits her clients mostly worked in commercials and corporate videos. Now she’s helping them land more sizable gigs and is working with people moving here from elsewhere.

“Even people who have gone to L.A. in the past are seeing more opportunities here,” she said.

Pick up this Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution or head to myajc.com to get more on this story, including:

  • An inside look at the films being shot recently at Screen Gems, Georgia's busiest movie studio complex
  • A quiz on Georgia movie trivia
  • An analysis of how the movie business is changing the jobs in Georgia