ByReid Jones, writer at
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Reid Jones

The film industry is rapidly beginning to leave California to invest and relocate to Georgia, as it has been named the number one state for growth in the film industry. It was revealed earlier this month that Georgia brought more than $6 Billion in from film production budgets in the most recent fiscal year. The reasons behind this transition aren't very popularized, but are undoubtedly factors that could end up completely changing how the production of movies change within the next decade.

1. Existing Movie Franchises

Major films made, filmed and/or that will be made in Georgia include Ant-Man, Catching Fire, [The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2](tag:449866), Insurgent, Allegiant Part 1 & 2, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409), Furious 7, The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries, Need for Speed, Magic Mike XXL, Taken 3, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Anchorman 2, Selma, 42, and Blended.

2. Tax Incentives for Film Production

The Peach State offers more tax incentives for film production than most states do. Georgia gives a 20% tax credit to any film that spends a total of $500,000 or more in the state during production, and an additional 10% tax credit simply for including the state logo in the rolling credits of the film for a grand total of 30%. California, in comparison, has a maximum 25% tax credit with much more complex requirements for the tax break. When a film has a budget of around $200 Million, 30% can save you a million or four of your budget.

3. Biodiversity

A major contributor to Hollywood's popularity as a filming location was the desert and tropical access. Western films were the next big thing in the film industry at the time, making Hollywood's cacti-covered location the perfect place for filming such movies. Now that Westerns are no longer the focus, many movies opt to film out of state or out of country.

Georgia has a huge variety of locations to film in, including the urban jungle of downtown Atlanta, the world's largest aquarium, the world's largest inland swamp, the Appalachian Mountains which often get snow in the winter months, the world's largest airport, Stone Mountain, a 161-kilometer coastline, major league sports arenas, concert arenas, and more than 30 rivers. It was for this reason that Atlanta, the state's capital, was eligible as well as selected to host the 1996 Summer Olympics.

4. Major Studios

While the bigger studios are currently found in the Hollywood area, it isn't staying that way for long. Two years ago, the Jacoby Group announced the Atlanta Media Campus & Studios, which will become the largest studio backlot in the country after its completion. The Media Campus will also serve as a film school complete with student housing on-campus. Four days ago, the announcement of Moon River Studios, also set to be located in Georgia, beat out the Media Campus as the largest film & television studio project in America.

While the two upcoming projects are very promising for the future of the industry in Georgia, they are only glances into the not-so-distant future for now. That is far from all the state has when it comes to studios. Pinewood Studios Atlanta is preparing for its very first film to be released in theaters, after finishing post production a few weeks ago. What film you ask? Marvel Studios' Ant-Man. Pinewood, the studio behind The Hobbit series, the James Bond films, the upcoming Star Wars trilogy, and countless more films, built their first and only North American studio in the Atlanta area. This studio is currently working on Captain America: Civil War and will also be behind Guardians of the Galaxy 2 during its production next year.

On top of this, Turner Broadcasting calls Atlanta home. Turner broadcasting is running some of TV animation's biggest channels, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Boomerang, along with CNN, TNT, TruTV, and HLN. Because of this, animation and TV has quite the hub in the state as well.

It certainly isn't happening now, but don't be surprised when the industry has relocated to Georgia within the next decade. Could we be seeing red carpet events at the Fox Theater instead of the El Capitan in the next ten years?


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