ATLANTA — The Georgia Film Office celebrated its 50th year on set Wednesday.
The office said the division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development was kick-started by former Georgia Governor and President of the United States Jimmy Carter.
“Recognizing the success of 1972′s “Deliverance,” which was filmed in Rabun County in northeast Georgia, former Governor Jimmy Carter established the Georgia Film Office to attract more productions to the state, which would help local economies through hotel nights, spending, and encouraging tourism,” the film office said in a statement.
Gov. Brian Kemp touted the state’s “blockbuster year” for spending by television and film productions tallied up to $4.1 billion for Georgia.
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From July 2022 to June 2023, Georgia was host to nearly 400 film, television, commercial, and music video productions, according to officials.
The Georgia Film Office office said Georgia’s film stage space is the second highest in the U.S., and is expected to grow even bigger in 2025.
The space the film office mentioned is made up of a mix of different studios and sound stages, including what the Georgia Film Office said was a new $180 million film and TV facility under construction in Forest Park from BlueStar Studios.
Additionally, Douglasville will be home to a new 500,000-square-foot full-service studio thanks to a $200 million investment from Lionsgate Atlanta, according to the state, while Athena Studios has a $60 million investment in Athens, and Electric Owl Studios in DeKalb County opened its own facility in June.
Kemp said Georgia’s residents were the ones to benefit from the increasing film production in the state.
“Georgia remains a global leader in film, TV, and streaming productions,” Kemp said in a statement. “Those who benefit most from the significant growth we’ve seen in this industry over the past couple of decades are hardworking Georgians who fill the many behind-the-camera jobs that come with each project. That’s why we’ve worked hard to attract these and other opportunities for those who call the Peach State home.”
The growth also includes a new facility under construction at Assembly Atlanta in Doraville from a combined effort of Gray TV and NBCUniversal to build a one million square foot stage space.
The real impact, according to state officials, is the growth that follows productions filming in Georgia.
“We talk about the amount spent on a production, but we’ve also seen the enormous impact a project may have years, even decades, after it has shot in our state – and that’s nearly impossible to quantify,” Georgia Film Office Director Film Lee Thomas said. “We know that tourists flock to Covington not only because of recent projects like ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ but also because five episodes of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ were shot there four decades ago. In just a few seasons, ‘The Walking Dead’ helped transform Senoia from six storefronts to more than 150 small businesses downtown. In Hall County, an enterprising local fishing charter company began offering ‘Ozark’ tours of the filming locations for more than $300 per person due to high demand and limited space. Beyond the direct spend, it may take years, even decades, to understand the complete economic impact of a project on an area.”
The state of Georgia maintains a list of productions filmed in Georgia and others that are currently underway.
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