Mutants, Film, and Georgia – Oh My!

We often get to point out things here that have been done wrong – and rarely do we point to something that is working out. Perhaps that is human nature, or maybe everyone here is excessively grumpy.

I digress. Georgia seems to be an attractive place for the film industry once again. While they aren’t putting a Hollywood sign up in downtown Atlanta, there has been an increasing number of productions that have chosen to film here in our quaint state. A good friend of mine has years of experience in the audio industry – and he has often told me stories of how decades ago he use to do a lot of work with film production companies renting out walkie talkies. That business dried up for awhile as it became too costly to film in Georgia.

I think making a push to bring the film industry back is a great thing. These productions wind up spending money here -supporting local businesses and adding to the local economies. I suspect there is some tourism boost as well from movies being filmed here.

Whatever your thoughts on the status of Georgia’s film industry – here is a neat conversation starter. So parts of the new X-Men movie may be filmed here? Who do we blame – the government or Dragoncon?

13 comments

  1. analogkid says:

    I initially thought the tax credits were a bad idea, but it definitely seems to be bringing the industry here. Whether or not it’s a net benefit to the state is anyone’s guess.

    On a related note, I saw film crews downtown at the Archives building last week. Anyone know what was being filmed?

  2. Baker says:

    I definitely think its good to bring them here, as long as it’s X-Men type movies. No Angelina or George Clooney thank you. It’s kind of a hassle for the people living and working around where they are filming but thats a lot of money they slosh around while they’re here.

    On the tax credit question, here’s a thought. Let’s say Georgia instituted the flattest/ fairest tax possible for a state. Would businesses be any less likely to come here bc their particular industry didn’t get any special attention? Im gonna say not.

    7.5 BILLION Man-hours. That’s the cost of compliance with the Federal code. I am firmly of the opinion that if the tax code were simplifed, all those other things, health care, regulation, all of it, would be made much easier to deal with and revenues would be much higher. I’d say people would even be okay with higher taxes if it were simplified. The cost of compliance right now is another unforeseen consequence of the tax structure anyway. It’s like a tax we already pay, it just goes into CPAs pockets.

  3. NoTeabagging says:

    Film business helps local businesses more than you can imagine. Productions spend lost of money on food, office supplies, lumber, paint, fabrics, clothing, furniture, home accessories, hotels, rentals of equipment, locations, studios, offices and more. They employ a good share of local people, even when key dept, heads come from LA or NY.

    Productions go to places that are cheap to use and cheap to find these goods and services. It is a cycle, enjoy it while we can. If we don’t get greedy, the productions will keep coming. We have a great variety of locales in the state. If we did not have the tax incentives, they would go elsewhere. Does not matter that we have professional crews, studios and equipment ready to rent. Productions film where they get the best deal. We lost out on years of film work to other states that were ahead of the curve in offering these incentives. It really does help local economies and local business and labor.

    There is a big difference between offering a tax break to Walmart to come shut down local businesses and the film business that actually supports local businesses.

  4. Had some fun being an extra on The Crazies and had an opportunity to have a long discussion with Brian Frankish, producer of Field of Dreams. The economic impact is immediate stimulus impacting short term jobs (electricians, carpenters, drivers, artists, security etc.). There are also long term residual financial impact as well, if the local communities seize the opportunity. In little Juliet, Georgia, the whole economy survives on the aroma of Fried Green Tomatos, a film that done 20+ years ago.

    In the past 3 years there are been at least a dozen major motion picture productions and several serial television programs. I haven’t heard the total numbers but I would bet it is huge. California has gutted the entertainment industry driving it overseas and to Canada. Several states (Louisiana, Iowa and Georgia) passed tax credit legislation. We have been the big winner. It makes sense. We have mountains, flatlands, coastal, rural and urban settings.

    With the entertainment industry there is no infrastructure that has to be built or maintained, simply offer the tax credit and they will come.
    I don’t know when the current tax incentive ends (if it does), but I certainly hope it is continued.

  5. polisavvy says:

    The filming of “In The Heat of The Night” brought significant revenues to Covington. Presently, “Vampire Diaries” is being filmed here. The difference between the two is how the City is handling the funds. While “Heat” was filmed here, the money seemed to be managed better than the money from “Vampire” is being managed. We are now the proud recipients of a very expensive “duck pond” next to City Hall that doesn’t have any ducks. I think the tax incentives for production companies is worthwhile; however, if it’s not spent smartly, then it is not beneficial. We have one of the highest utility rates in the state, according to the PSC; but, at least we have a duckless duck pond. At least that’s my two cents worth on the subject.

  6. drjay says:

    if i have time to find any of the articles, i’ll post a link- there have been several stories about “miley tourism” b/c of her movie filmed on tybee last year. one was related to the recent tropical storm–people canceled trips to nc and some picked tybee as there back up plan, specifically b/c of the miley connection, another article from earlier in the year involved teenie boppers getting their parents to take trips to savannah and tybee, again to see sites from the film…

  7. georgiahack says:

    The game of tax subsidies is a dangerous game to play. The problem is that so many states have seen this as a potential boon that they all offer tax incentives and are fighting to keep the jobs there. This is a pretty good article that lays out some of the problems with trying to attract the movie biz to your state.
    Don’t quite know where I fall, but this is food for thought for those of you who supporting these tax incentives. http://citiwire.net/post/2164/

  8. DoubleDawg3 says:

    I’ll admit, when this was introduced & passed in the Georgia General Assembly (by Sen. Mitch Seabaugh – if I remember correctly? ) I didn’t think it would have ANY impact on Georgia. Wow, glad I was wrong.

    Credit to Sen. Seabaugh (if my memory is correct) and the other legislators who pushed this…it brings in some short term jobs, a little revenue for cities/counties, but more importantly, tourism – once movie-goers see our state on the big screen. I mean, think of how many people traveled to Savannah after Forrest Gump & Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil?

    The movie industry even left some fresh white sand at Mary Alice Park in Cumming, GA – something that the park wouldn’t have been able to afford in this bad economy.

    http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2010-04-24/movie-crew-moves-around-lake-lanier-films-cumming

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