The film industry in Georgia is the largest among the states of the United States for production of feature films by number of films produced, as of 2016. Atlanta is the center of the film industry in Georgia with Turner, Tyler Perry, and EUE/Screen Gems studios located there. The industry in Georgia was boosted substantially by tax incentives introduced in 2002 and strengthened in 2008. Just in the fiscal year 2017 film and TV production had an economic impact in Georgia of $9.5 billion, while industry sources claim that the tax subsidy costs the state $141 million. Films shot in Georgia include Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, Life as We Know It, Contagion and a number of Marvel Studios productions, including ' and ', as well as Ant Man and the Wasp and Black Panther. Atlanta has since been called the "Hollywood of the South".
Georgia overtook California in 2016 as the state location with the most feature films produced.
The state's first tax incentive, a point of purchasesales and use tax exemption, was introduced in 2002. The state's second and most progressive tax incentive, the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, was signed into law in May 2005 and updated in May 2008. The act granted qualified productions a transferable income tax credit of 20% of all in-state costs for film and television investments of $500,000 or more. An additional 10% tax credit was awarded to approved projects that embed a Georgia Entertainment Promotional logo within the titles or credits of each production. This vanity card, usually seen in closing credits, is rendered as an image of the Georgia Department of Economic Development's peach logo, a link to the GDEC's filming-specific tourism website, and a male voice saying or a woman singing "Made in Georgia". In 2005 Georgia spent $10.3 million on its film incentive. That amount increased to $140.6 million by 2010. By the fiscal year 2015, the amount spent by Georgia in issued tax credits for the year was just over $504 million.
Impact on economy
The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office states that more than 700 feature films, TV movies, TV series, single episodes, and pilots have been produced in Georgia since 1972. In fiscal year 2017 film and TV production had an economic impact in Georgia of $9.5 billion. According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development:
There are more than 5,000 individual technicians and other workers in Georgia
The average number of local employees on a medium budget feature film is about 150-175
On a larger budget production, there are about 200-250 local employees
The average feature film budget is $41.7 million
The average amount of feature film budget spent in a state is 60% - 70%. This is higher for locally produced projects.
There were 348 productions shot in the state in 2009. These industry establishments are probably supported wholly or in part by the production of feature films; television movies, series, pilots and miniseries; commercials, music videos, documentaries and still shoots.
Films shot in Atlanta include Little Darlings, Sharky's Machine, Driving Miss Daisy, Outbreak, Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, Life as We Know It, and Contagion. Covington in Metro Atlanta has been home to dozens of feature and television projects that include the hit TV series The Vampire Diaries and In the Heat of the Night. Although many types of films are shot in Atlanta, the New York Times in 2011 recognized the particular concentration of horror and zombie-themed productions in the city.
Films shot outside Metro Atlanta
Besides Metro Atlanta, cities and towns frequently used to shoot in include:
Crawfordville has been host to more than 8 feature films and television movies including Get Low, Sweet Home Alabama, The Neon Bible, Stars and Bars and Coward of the County.
Savannah has been host to dozens of feature film and television projects that include: The Last Song, The Conspirator, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Forrest Gump, The Gift, Glory, Forces of Nature, and The General’s Daughter.
Rome hosted Sweet Home Alabama, as well as The Mosquito Coast, Remember the Titans, and Class of '61.
Americus was host to the TV movie To Dance with the White Dog.
The small town of Juliette was revitalized when Fried Green Tomatoes was largely shot there.
Sherwood Pictures produced the Christian theme films Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof and Courageous, all filmed in and around Albany.
The American post-apocalyptic zombie comedy Zombieland amusement park scenes were filmed at Wild Adventures theme park in Valdosta.
The Walking Dead is shot nearly entirely in Georgia. The first season used many locations in and around Atlanta, and subsequent seasons have moved to a lot outside of Senoia and additional locations nearby.
Stranger Things was principally filmed in Jackson as a stand-in for the fictional "Hawkins, Indiana", with other nearby areas serving as other sets.
A number of Adult Swim series, such as Lazor Wulf, Squidbillies, and Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell, are produced out of Atlanta; the FXX animated series Archer is also produced in Atlanta.
2019 Georgia film boycott
In 2019 Hollywood production companies, including Disney and Netflix, threatened to leave the state in response to Georgia's controversial heartbeat bill. In May 2019, a number of Hollywood studios and broadcasters including Warnermedia, Viacom, CBS, NBC and Sony issued statements saying they would be reviewing their investments in the state if the new heartbeat bill were implemented.