METRO ATLANTA — Four billion dollars is a record for film and television industry spending in the state of Georgia. That’s according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development based on numbers for the 2021 fiscal year, which ended June 30.
The GDEcD says that number is due to multiple factors, including pent-up demand because of the COVID-19 hiatus and an early, safe return to production.
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GDEcD says since June 2020, film, television and streaming companies committed to bring back and hire 40,000 production workers to work on 75 production projects in the state. The state says that investment brought more than $2 billion into the Georgia economy since then.
“The growth of Georgia’s film industry is truly exciting, impacting every corner of our state from communities to small businesses to individual Georgians,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Seeing our beautiful state on-screen along with our iconic Georgia peach logo is good for tourism and other marketing efforts, ultimately making an even bigger impact on our economy.
Georgia’s Film Office says in 2020, despite wide-spread shutdowns, Georgia productions spent just over $2 billion in the state, which was a record at the time.
“Georgia allowed productions to return before other markets, so we not only had returning shows that shut down due to the pandemic, but we were also able to attract new shows that were slated to shoot in other, locked down markets,” said Lee Thomas, Director of the Georgia Film Office. “This additional slate of projects, combined with increased budgets due to the need for additional crew and space, plus stringent safety measures, led Georgia to have an even higher than projected record year.”
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Georgia’s “best practices” guide for film and television during the pandemic, official say helped with the quick return for production.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp believes the state’s safety protocols and best practices guide, which did add some money to production costs and timelines were a big factor in the rapid restart of production in the state.
“Because Georgia was the first state in the country to re-open our economy and worked with film productions across the state to ensure they could safely continue operations, the Peach State’s film industry is leading the nation,” said Governor Kemp.
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The state boasts their 2.1 million square feet of purpose-built stage space and 3.2 million square feet of retrofitted state and dedicated warehouse space combined with generous tax credits makes Georgia attractive for any content production. In the 2021 fiscal year, the state says 366 productions were done in the state. That number includes: 21 feature films, 45 independent films, 222 TV and episodic productions, 57 commercials and 21 music videos.
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