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Monday, March 8, 2010 - 12:31pm

Georgia Ramps Up Film Production

Times are good for feature films in Georgia. And not just in the state's film capitals.

Fiscal 2009 saw 26 feature films shot in the state. This year, Georgia's on track to top that number.

Film production was spread across 50 counties, but not all of it was a big Hollywood to-do, as was Robert Redford's "The Conspirator," filmed in Savannah.

St. Marys attracted an online series based on "Star Trek" and a TV pilot for a show about the Coast Guard.

Barbara Ryan of the St. Marys Film Society says it's sometimes easier to shoot in smaller cities.

"We say, here's your office, here's your board room, here's your computer," Ryan says. "City Hall is right next door. We'll walk you through all your permits."

St. Marys is drawing on Georgia's lucrative new film incentives and the large population of nearby Jacksonville.

"If they need a 30-year-old male scuba diver, we've got it," Ryan says. "If they need a 45-year-old matronly looking waitress, we have that."

In 2008, state lawmakers passed the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act.

It gives, film, video and game producers a 20 percent tax credit if they spend more than $500,000 in Georgia.