Gov. Deal: record 455 film and television projects in Georgia

- Georgia’s film and television production industry has continued to break records. That’s according to Governor Nathan Deal who touted the record 455 film and television projects during the last fiscal year on Thursday.

Gov. Deal said the production pumped $9.5 billion into the state’s economy, $2.7 of which was direct spending in the state.

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"With a record 455 productions shot in Georgia, the film industry continues to support jobs for Georgians, boost small businesses and expand offerings for tourists," Deal was quoted as saying in a release sent to FOX 5 News. "Today, Georgia is one of the world's top destinations for film production and communities across the state are seeing the benefits of welcoming the industry. I am proud to see our success continue, as the $9.5 billion in total economic impact reflects the sustainability of the film industry and the benefits of our competitive incentives program."

More than 92,100 jobs and nearly $4.6 billion in total wages have been created in Georgia, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. Over the past 8 years, more than 300 industry related businesses have relocated to the Peach State.

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"We are very fortunate to have state leadership that understands the vital role that the entertainment industry plays in Georgia's economic prosperity," Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson was quoted as saying. "The film industry creates jobs across almost every profession, in addition to camera, lighting, and audio, film companies hire Georgians with skills in a myriad of support services including construction, catering, transportation, accounting and payroll and post-production. Thank you to all our friends in the industry for helping to make Georgia the top filming location in the country."

The Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act celebrated its 10 birthday this year, having been passed into law in 2008. Since then, Georgia has become the most popular site for on-location filming in the country.

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Deal said the year before the bill passed, Georgia only drew in $93 million in direct spending from the film industry in direct contrast to the $2.7 this year.

Georgia now is home to 1.1 million square feet of purpose-built soundstage space and over 1.2 million square feet of retrofitted soundstage space, up from 40,000 square feet of purpose-built soundstages available before 2010.

"The significant increase in production infrastructure is what sets us apart from our competitors. No other state has seen the growth that we have and it proves that the industry in Georgia is here for the long term," Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office, was quoted as saying. "The amount of stage space and support businesses we have here now gives every production the confidence not only in Georgia's ability to host them, but in our ability to accommodate larger tentpole franchises as well as television shows. With the unwavering support from our legislature, Georgia sends a powerful message to the film industry attracting greater commitments that will continue this growth for years to come."

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The governor pointed to continuing series such as FOX’s “The Gifted” as well as Netflix’ “Ozark” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead” as some of the current television projects.

Gov. Deal also touted four new full-length feature films set to be released this fall. "Mile 22" starring Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, and Ronda Rousey and "The Little Mermaid" starring Poppy Drayton, Jared Sandler, Gina Gershon, and William Moseley, both opening August 17, "The House with a Clock in its Walls" starring Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, and Kyle MacLachlan opening September 21, and "Venom" starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, and Jenny Slate opening October 5.

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