By MORGAN BRANHAM
In the past couple of years, Georgia has become a major state for hosting the making of films and television shows. This increase is due to the Georgia tax incentive that the government issued for production.
A large amount of production business has left Hollywood and has come to the state of Georgia. Georgia has become the new Hollywood and it is all thanks to the tax incentive.
The tax incentive allows producers and production companies to receive a 20 percent tax credit on qualified exposure of Georgia. If the Georgia logo or a known monumental staple is visible within a scene of film or episode, the production companies will receive an additional 10 percent credited to them.
These benefits have brought new production companies to Georgia, and they often return with more projects. Reoccurring visits are possible because of the accommodations that Georgia presents, such as great weather, diverse locations and an abundant amount of resources; this allows production companies’ filming period to go by smoothly.
Ed Richardson, owner of R&R Productions Worldwide Inc., discussed how the state has become such a magnet for production companies.
“These incentives plus the natural resources of locations – rural, urban, coastal, modern, rustic, small town, big city. Production specific … production friendly resources, studios for production and post, top tier crew base, production gear, accessibility via air transportation… especially in Atlanta,” Richardson said.
Benefits To The State
Georgia has made large financial gains due to the tax incentive; it has benefited more than 5,000 union and non-union professionals. Hollywood studios, directors and producers have invested more than $600 million into the state.
Filming requires a great variety of public and private services that the employees of the state can meet, Richardson said.
“Georgia is now a destination for even more film and TV projects. At ground level, our industry’s technicians and artists are busy working and earning a living, and the view from above shows a very positive overall economic impact for the entire state. The direct impact in the industry is just a small piece of the story … remember, when a movie comes to town … hundreds of people are also staying in our hotels for months at a time, eating in our local restaurants, visiting our local vendors – so the indirect impact is quite positive as well,” he said.
Beyond money for the state, the incentive has created an opportunity for young college graduates to find work and to be a part of something magical. During the recent economic decline, it has been hard for college graduates to find work out of college and the tax incentive has opened the doors of experience.
Georgia now has the opportunity to give back to its youth by allowing them an opportunity to use their creativity in the film industry and make a career out of it; it is an opportunity for success at a difficult time. The incentive has brought hope to Georgia and, according to Richardson, has proved successful in creating a new “Hollywood” that comes with job opportunities and economic advantages.
“As a 20-year Georgia resident, having spent nine years as a staff member at Turner Broadcasting’s Entertainment Group [Cartoon Network, TBS and Turner South] and an additional nine years as the owner of my own entertainment company , I could not be happier that the tax incentive has brought so many great projects to Georgia,” Richardson said. “The rest of the country now thinks of Georgia as a real destination for film and TV production… This is great, not only for our talented crew base and performers, but also for the financial benefit of the entire state.”