Mon., November 21, 2011 3:00am (EST)

Savannah Eyes Film Studio
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 3 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Filming already is being done at Meddin Studios in Savannah.  But city officials believe more can be done with a large soundstage, the kind that larger productions need.  (photo Nathan Jones)
Filming already is being done at Meddin Studios in Savannah. But city officials believe more can be done with a large soundstage, the kind that larger productions need. (photo Nathan Jones)
Savannah's growth in the film and digital entertainment industry is prompting local officials to consider building a large film studio.

It's part of a new economic development mission.

A recent study by the Savannah Economic Development Authority identified film, T-V and other digital media as a growth sector worth pursuing.

The city already has several studios and has attracted large films.

But industry officials say, the city could attract more if it had a large soundstage.

SEDA president Steve Weathers says, his agency, city leaders and a private company are meeting to explore building one.

But he says, who would pay, how much and for what are premature details that are still up in the air.

"We really want to go through and answer those questions and others of just how we would pull all those pieces together to make this not only a viable investment but also a continuing and sustainable jobs creator for our region," Weathers says.

City of Savannah Film Office director Jay Self says, the film, TV digital media industry last year had a nearly $10 million economic impact in Savannah.

"When you look at the sectors of growth, they're not in your traditional development," Self says. "This business, however, has been a growth business through every recession and it's continuing to grow."

Savannah recently has been on a film growth spurt, attracting million-dollar films like the psychological thriller "When the Bough Breaks."