FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - California is using the opposition to Georgia’s new abortion law to try and lure films back to Hollywood
This comes as Georgia’s governor visited the Georgia Film Academy and Pinewood Studios in Fayette County Wednesday afternoon. Pinewood Studios is the second largest production studio in north America.
Along his tour, Gov. Brian Kemp reaffirmed the state’s commitment to keeping the film industry here in Georgia.
“We had a great tour today of the Georgia Film Academy and Pinewood Studios. There’s some development going on down here, incredible things that are happening. A lot of talent, a lot of great former industry folks who are teaching our kids here in Georgia, supplying the workforce. I’m very excited about where we are with our film industry and Georgia, and I remain a strong supporter,” Kemp said in a video posted to Twitter.
But Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot found out California is working hard to lure the film industry back.
Elliot found a blistering parody video of an existing Georgia tourism ad has been posted online from Will Ferrell’s comedy website Funny or Die.
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“Take a leap of faith and explore the state that will give your embryo the right to child support and you no rights at all,” the mock ad says, in part.
The video attacks the state over its new heartbeat abortion law which bans abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy but with exceptions for rape, incest and the mother’s health.
California is using the law to lure the angry film industry back to Hollywood. One California lawmaker has proposed new tax incentives for any production company that leaves a state with restrictive abortion laws.
Candy Multamaki spoke with Elliot on Wednesday afternoon in Senoia, telling him she came from Toronto, Canada, to see the sets for the zombie TV show "The Walking Dead."
Much of the city’s economy comes directly or indirectly from film and TV production.
“We do have concerns about that with the economy. We’re already seeing tourism down to some extent,” said Mara Lockard with the Georgia Tour Company.
Multamaki told Elliot she is also a travel agent and said some Canadian tourists might have second thoughts about visiting Georgia.
“I know when certain people were elected into the states, a lot of my Canadian friends did not come to the United States to spend their money here and could be the exact same thing,” Multamaki said.
One industry insider told Elliot they don’t believe big production houses like Pinewood would leave Georgia, because they have too much invested here.
But he cautions as much as 30 percent of the movies and TV shows shot here could go somewhere else.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development sent Elliot a statement, saying:
“Georgia continues to be the most advantageous place in the country to create compelling stories. We have crews that are trained and experienced, landscapes with incredible diversity, and studios that have housed the most successful productions in the history of film. You won’t find a harder-working and more knowledgeable crew base anywhere in the country. And we are busy training the next generation of professionals at our one-of-a-kind Georgia Film Academy, preparing college students to work in all the varied jobs a set requires. Not to mention, we have the best-designed tax incentive program that has stood the test of time and is here to stay. If you are a content creator and want to work in a state that allows you to maximize your budget and return on investment, Georgia has been and continues to be the #1 place to be.”
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