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Georgia is on the mind of many in the TV and Film Industry

May 24, 2010

Georgia has become a popular place to shoot films and TV shows since it boosted its film incentives to 30% in 2008. As a matter of fact, more than 26 features were shot in Georgia in 2009, compared with only a couple two years earlier.  Bill Thompson, deputy commissioner of Georgia’s Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office says, “We are definitely in the top five states when it comes to film and television production and Number 1 in the region.” 

Georgia’s tax benefits aren’t the only reason the industry has made its way to the Peach State.  The state has other attractions to filmmakers: the generally mild weather, the diverse topography, transportation infrastructure, modern amenities and skilled film crews.  It’s estimated that over 25,000 Georgians owe their livelihood to entertainment-related enterprise.  Thompson also adds that Georgia can handle up to 10 film and television productions simultaneously. 

Can you recall some of your favorites that have been filmed in Georgia?  As a native Atlantan my mind races to Gone With The Wind, only to be amazed to discover that not a single scene of the classic scene was filmed in Georgia, rather in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.  Despite that, Atlanta has stood in for many cities, including Los Angeles and even Boston. 

It was Deliverance (1972) that truly brought the state to Hollywood’s attention.  With stars like Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight, Deliverance was  an economic boom to the state that inspired then-governor Jimmy Carter to establish the first state film commission.  Burt Reynolds brought back another blockbuster to the state: Smokey and The Bandit (1977) and Smokey and The Bandit II (1980).  CBS was then quick to see the craze of car-chase films and the hit television series “The Dukes of Hazard” was started with Georgia residents John Schneider and Tom Wopat.

Into the 80’s and the 90’s Jessica Tandy  became Georgia’s representative in her starring role in Driving Miss Daisy (1989), a delightful tale of an elderly woman who develops a close bond with her African-American chauffeur.  Other movies during this time period include: Fried Green Tomatoes, Forest Gump, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Recent high-profile releases include: The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock, The Last Song with Miley Cyrus and also Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, Too?

Marc Fisher, the exective producer of  Hall Pass, had such pleasant experiences filming in Georgia that just recently he came back to film two more movies.  In August he will begin Walter the Farting Dog (based on children’s book) and in January 2011 the highly anticipated Three Stooges project.  Also, if you’re interested in starring in upcoming films there are casting calls for Fast and Furious 5 and Drop Dead Diva, which you can check out here.  The new ABC pilot “187 Detriot” is also shooting in Georgia.

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