Georgia’s film industry ranks number one globally in the production of the top grossing feature films, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, California, Louisiana, and New York.
Prior to the pandemic, Georgia was on pace to have a record setting year in film production. Unfortunately, COVID-19 shut down virtually all film production for several months. After the pause, production activity resumed. The pause caused direct spending by the film industry in Georgia to decline from $2.9 billion in FY 2019 to $2.2 billion in FY 2020. Although the film industry is air-travel dependent and relatively high-contact, production recovered swiftly. Georgia’s film industry set a new record of $4.0 billion in direct spending in FY 2021. Georgia’s film industry spent $4.4 billion in FY 2022, another new record. Despite the economic slowdown, prospects for Georgia’s film industry are very good. We expect Georgia’s film industry to expand in 2023.
Since the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act was signed into law in 2008, direct spending by the film industry has increased from $93 million in 2007 to $4.4 billion in FY 2022. Business Facilities magazine ranks Georgia No. 1 in motion picture and television production. According to FilmLA, Georgia’s film industry ranks third to California and New York in the production of feature films. Similarly, Georgia ranks third in new cable television projects, third in live action scripted series, and third in new streaming projects. The latter ranking may be of special importance because TV dramas are expected to shift from broadcast and cable networksto streaming platforms. In addition, more original movies will be made by streaming platforms and will skip theatrical release.
State incentives help to ensure that nearly all studio space is booked. The Georgia Film Academy helps to ensure that well-trained workers are available. Georgia’s diversity of locations provides a good fit for a wide range of film and TV productions. Georgia is at the stage of development where new movie and film production increasingly begets additional movie and film production.
As the professional, technical, and physical infrastructure becomes even more fully developed, the economic benefits of each dollar spent on film and television production in Georgia will generate larger economic impacts for our state’s economy. Recent economic development projects related to film production include Reynolds Capital’s investment in Athena Studios, a new soundstage project in Athens. Meanwhile, Cinelease Studios-Three Ring is expanding its studio facilities in Covington. Electric Owl Studios broke ground on a 17-acre site in Stone Mountain where Capstone Properties and Domain Capital Group will build a film and TV studio campus. United Talent Agency opened an office in Atlanta. Gray Television announced a partnership with NBCUniversal Media to develop content creation and management facilities in in Doraville. MBS Equipment Company, the world’s largest studio-based equipment company, recently announced the opening of their new East Coast headquarters at Trilith Studios in Fayette County.