Film Productions Queuing Up in Georgia

Lee Thomas

Friday, July 24th, 2020

Since our update earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic brought film and television to a virtual standstill, the Georgia Film Office and our partners have been hard at work on countless initiatives to keep our strong film industry in shape and supporting industry professionals and thousands of small businesses that fuel the TV and movie business in Georgia.

For instance, on May 22, Georgia issued a historic “best practices” guide for production companies to consider as they make plans to resume operations. The recommendations were developed in close cooperation with officials from studio and production companies who maintain a presence in Georgia and are helping productions safely get back to work

Additionally, our partners at the Georgia Film Academy, in conjunction with the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia, have released a free COVID Compliance Course, which provides a training program of safety and sanitation best practices and procedures for anyone who works on a film set in Georgia. All of the courses are based on the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and the Georgia Department of Public Health.

In June, we were thrilled that the major motion picture, television, and streaming companies made a public announcement that they plan to bring back and hire an estimated 40,000 production workers, who will be employed on an expected 75 production projects that will invest over $2 billion into the Georgia economy during the next 18 months. This includes plans by producers to purchase goods and services from over 17,000 small Georgia businesses, according to the Motion Picture Association-America, which includes The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros. – all with a presence in Georgia.

Also in June, we celebrated the Peabody Award-winning Georgia-lensed “Watchmen” – HBO’s limited series – and Netflix’s smash hit, “Stranger Things!” Only 30 of 1,300 submissions receive the award, which the Board of Jurors bestows on content judged to be the “most compelling and empowering” of the year.

While many viewers have been watching these and other Georgia-filmed productions on streaming media like Netflix at home, we’ve also issued a Public Facilities Reopening Guide to help our arts community, movie and live performance theaters, and other operations safely reopen their doors. There’s nothing like community to bring people together, and perhaps that has never been more important than now. Plus, sometimes the big screen is just necessary!

As uncertainty continues to affect the film industry worldwide, Georgia is continuing to work closely with studios to answer their questions and help them make plans. Film permitting continues in the state, and a list of productions prepping or that are already underway are available on our “What’s Filming Now?” page.

With the many factors that make Georgia a great place for film, we have cultivated a culture of success in the industry, and it is important to us that we help the folks who have helped us build it.

As Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson has noted, “The backbone of Georgia’s film and television industry is made up of small businesses in every corner of our state, and these businesses have helped create the environment that makes Georgia such an attractive place for

productions. We will continue to help these important businesses navigate new circumstances. As we return to production across the state, there is no doubt Georgia will maintain its position as a powerhouse for film and television production.”

Prior to the worldwide COVID-19 response, Georgia set a new record for film. In 2019, the 391 film and television productions that filmed in Georgia spent $2.9 billion in the state, supported 3,040 motion picture and television industry businesses, and delivered $9.2 billion in total wages.

The economic impact of film touches local communities and small businesses across Georgia. We look forward to resuming the hundreds of productions across the state and to keeping Georgia as the nation’s film and TV capital.