Georgia film industry sets another economic impact record
The last fiscal year was another record-setter for the film industry in Georgia.
Film and television productions spent $4.4 billion in the Peach State in fiscal 2022, which ended June 30, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday. That’s up from the previous record of $4 billion set in fiscal 2021.
Georgia hosted 412 productions in the last fiscal year, including 32 feature films, 36 independent films, 269 television and episodic productions, 42 commercials, and 33 music videos, according to the Georgia Film Office, which promotes and markets the industry in the state.
“When the pandemic struck, we worked hard in Georgia to communicate with our partners in the Georgia film, TV, and streaming industries,” Kemp said.
“Together, we forged a safe and appropriate path to allow the film industry to return to operations and deliver Georgia Made productions to eager consumers all around the world – even when some states continued to stay shut down and stifle the industry’s return to normalcy.”
Movies filmed in Georgia claimed four of the top six spots for highest domestic-grossing movies: Avengers: Endgame (No. 2), Spider-Man: No Way Home (3), Black Panther (5), and Avengers: Infinity War (6).
Streaming episodic and limited-series programming continued to choose Georgia for hit programming, including Season Four of Netflix’s Stranger Things, Netflix hit Ozark, HBO Max’s The Staircase, Disney+’s “Loki” and FX’s “Atlanta.”
The various productions are being accompanied by the construction of studio complexes. Reynolds Capital is investing $60 million in Athena Studios, a new soundstage development in Athens.
Cinelease Studios-Three Ring has broken ground on a $144 million studio expansion in Covington, and Capstone South Properties and Domain Capital Group are building the world’s first ground-up, LEED Gold-certified film and TV studio campus in Stone Mountain.
While developing the former Doraville GM site, Gray Television recently announced a new partnership with NBCUniversal Media (NBCU) to lease property for content creation as well as manage all production facilities, including Gray’s studios.
The largest studio-based equipment company in the world for film, television, and events, MBS Equipment Company (MBSE), opened their new East Coast headquarters at Trilith Studios in Fayette County last fall.
“It’s very gratifying to see the continued commitment to Georgia’s film industry through local investment in soundstages, support services companies, and educational programs throughout the state,” said Lee Thomas, director of the Georgia Film Office. “We send a big thanks to the companies who have invested here and the communities that work so hard to make films dreams a reality for their local residents and economy.”
The only potential cloud on the horizon is Georgia’s “heartbeat” law banning most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The law took effect following a court ruling late last month, prompting some film industry insiders to vow not to film in Georgia.
However, the generous tax credit the General Assembly adopted for the film industry back in 2008 continues to make filming in Georgia much less expensive than states including California and New York, a financial reality that could blunt any momentum toward pulling up stakes here.
This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.