Georgia’s new film industry promotes economic growth

By WHITNEY STEEDLEY
It is no secret that these days the film industry is booming in Georgia. Popular television shows, like AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and blockbuster movies, such as “The Hunger Games trilogy,” have been filmed in the Peach State. This recent industry boom is good news not only for hopeful actors, but also for Georgia’s local businesses and services.

Economic Growth and Georgia’s New Film Industry

In 2013, according to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Georgia hosted the production of 23 movies and 39 television series. Members of the MPAA include Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony, Universal and Disney. These industry members provide 77,000 jobs and pay $1.6 billion in wages, annually. In addition, $690 million was paid to 4,000 Georgia businesses in 2012 alone; including industrial and technological services, food services, travel services and accommodations.

Georgia’s government is very much aware of the positive impact Hollywood’s attention has had on the state. In August 2014, Gov. Nathan Deal announced in a news release that the new and growing film industry had an economic impact of $5.1 billion, and that was during 2014’s fiscal year alone.

In 2012, as incentive to entice filmmakers to Georgia, the state began providing up to 30 percent in tax credits for companies seeking to film feature films, television series, music videos and commercials, including interactive games and animation.

Under Georgia’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act, a 20 percent tax credit is offered to companies that spend at least $500,000 on any stage of film production. Georgia also provides a promotional logo that, when included in film credits upon release, adds on an addition 10 percent in tax cuts.

Atlanta Business Highlight: XL Videos

Tommy Malcolm is an Atlanta-native who works as the inventory controller for XL Video’s U.S. region. XL Video is a multi-award winning company based out of Belgium that specializes in the rental of large LED video screens. The recent, drastic increase in business throughout Georgia has kept the company invested in Georgia and increased the number of Georgia residents that XL Videos employs.

“The growing movie industry has had a positive effect on our business by providing several long-term rental opportunities for movies such as ‘The Hunger Games,’ ‘Tomorrowland’ and several ‘Fast and Furious’ sequels,” Malcolm said.

Networking is also a key perk of working in Georgia’s new film industry. In 2009, Malcolm landed a freelance job as a video assist playback operator for “Zombieland,” which starred Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson.

Movie Industry Networking and the Future

It was because of his father’s connections and Georgia’s movie-making success that James Malcolm, Tommy Malcolm’s son, could also become employed by XL Video after graduation from college. James Malcolm now works as an LED technician, traveling to movie sets to assemble, operate, and disassemble the large screens.

James Malcolm agrees that the movie industry has directly benefited XL Video, as well as its customers.

“The movie industry growth, specifically in Atlanta, has benefited XL Video because of the company having its largest warehouse located in Atlanta. Projects within the city are logistically and financially easier on the customer,” he said.

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