Atlanta rivals Hollywood as film production mecca

ATLANTA — Lights, camera and action are bringing in billions of dollars to the state of Georgia – more than $9 billion just last year.

“Georgia’s kind of the biggest story in production in the world right now, in terms of growth,” Kris Bagwell said.

Bagwell runs Eue Screen Gems studio and sees small armies move in for productions.

[READ: Oscar-winning films you may have forgot featured Georgia]

“They have jobs that mimic basically every part of society, and "Black Panther," which we had here, spent something like $84 million in the state of Georgia,” Bagwell said.


Lee Thomas, head of Georgia’s film office, says besides a big tax break for filmmakers, there’s now a large crew base, the state can mimic nearly anywhere, from mountains to coast, big city to small town and offers quality of life.

“It really ripples throughout the economy, from caterers to carpet suppliers, and contact lens suppliers, florists and all of that,” Thomas said.

The impact is wide-reaching because of the many attractions Georgia can offer.

"Georgia can look like a variety of locations and they love the airport, the great restaurants, the quality of life, all that makes Georgia blow past the competition,” Thomas said.

Oscar nominees like “Baby Driver” for editing were shot in Georgia, as well as “I, Tonya,” for which Alison Janey won for best supporting actress.

“All of that stuff coming out of Georgia is top tier. It’s not, ‘Let’s go to Georgia because we don’t have any money,’ it’s, ‘Let’s go to Georgia because that’s a great place to make all kinds of stuff,” Bagwell said.

What’s next? The last two Avengers movies just wrapped, "Guardians of the Galaxy 3" starts near the end of the year, and just last week, Will Smith started shooting “Gemini Man” near Savannah, showing up on Instagram in face-nettting.

[WATCH: Will Smith just can't handle the bugs in Georgia]

“We’re shooting in Georgia, I love Georgia, but y’all got to do something about the bugs. Georgia’s so gorgeous,” Smith said in a video he posted.