Political Rewind: Former Sen. Johnny Isakson's legacy; A dive into Georgia's film industry
Jim Galloway — Retired columnist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jeffrey Stepakoff — Executive director, The Georgia Film Academy
Ronda Penrice — Journalist, writer
Shaunya Chavis-Rucker — Divisional head, Fulton Films Office
1. Former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson dies at age 76.
- The longtime Georgia politician was first elected to Congress in a special election to replace Rep. Newt Gingrich in the U.S. House in 1999. Isakson would later serve 14 years as a U.S. senator for Georgia.
- He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and retired from Congress in 2019 to focus on his health.
- Bill Nigut talked about Isakson's willingness to reach across the aisle.
- Jim Galloway said Isakson was part of a generation of politicians more open to bipartisanship.
2. The Georgia film industry reacts to the pandemic.
- The state's ever-expanding industry is due in large part to the generous film tax credit proposed by the General Assembly in 2008.
- The industry was hard hit by the pandemic, bringing revenue down from $2.9 billion in 2019 to $2.2 billion in 2020.
- The state essentially halted production in spring 2020. But in July 2020, commercials began to shoot again. Independent films and major studios resumed productions later in the summer.
3. Georgia's political climate has an impact of the film industry.
- After the passing of Georgia's controversial "heartbeat bill," several studios threatened to boycott productions here.
- Journalist Ronda Penrice highlighted how politics affect the bottom line of the film industry.
4. What sets Georgia apart from Hollywood and New York?
- The diversity of the state's film production distinguishes it from those traditional hubs on the East and West coasts, Ronda Penrice said.
- Jeffrey Stepakoff tells us how the film industry plans to expand past metro Atlanta in 2022.
Tomorrow on Political Rewind: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's senior reporter Tamar Hallerman guest hosts.