the movies that have rolled out over the past few years would definitely make me want to visit. The more sharp production people I met in Atlanta, the more I was convinced this was the perfect location for our film. WHAT MAKES GEORGIA DIFFERENT THAN OTHER STATES WITH TAX INCENTIVES?
Well, the first thing – and the thing I rarely hear people talk about – is the crew base that Atlanta has built over the past three years. If I go to a state that has incentives but I have to travel in my entire crew, the savings isn’t as substantial. But with all of the television shows and big budget features that have shot here since 2008, there’s a crew with impressive credits in every department from gaffer to grip to first assistant camera to costumer. If you have an AC that just shot Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Cameron Diaz or Jennifer Aniston, chances are your director of photography will be happy to work with them. That’s a crew member you can hire locally, which is a big additional savings – that means local jobs. That starts translating to every department from wardrobe to locations to production design. The other thing is all that Atlanta has to offer – the restaurants, hotels, shopping. Film crews like to eat, drink and shop well in their limited time off. No offense to a city like Shreveport, where I’ve been sent to shoot because of their tax incentive, but it just doesn’t have as much to offer as Atlanta.
PAUL WESLEY AND JEFF FISHER ON THE “KILLER MOVIE” SET.
It’s a no-brainer: If you can put your crew up at the W – a place where they can walk to restaurants and shopping – and make it fit in your budget, you’ve got a much happier crew, which makes for, in my opinion, a happier set and better movie. I can only imagine this is what Vancouver was like 25 years ago – it’s a production boom town and I really credit Lee Thomas, Bill Thompson and Greg Torre with the GDEcD film office for helping to make it happen. They were really smart about it. I know they had partners in this from the local film community that had a huge impact as well. DO YOU SEE ATLANTA CONTINUING TO BE A MAJOR FORCE IN THE FILM INDUSTRY?
I absolutely see Atlanta continuing to be a major player. As long as the tax credits stay in effect, it just makes good sense for everyone. Producers get a production-friendly city with great locations, crew housing and access to cutting-edge equipment – not to mention a crew base that keeps growing. Georgia gets a huge revenue from shows that film in town – every business, from your neighborhood dry cleaners to cleaning crews to potential locations, reaps the reward. And don’t underestimate how much the cast and crew spend of their personal money when they’re off. Most crew members I know spend their per diem at restaurants and stores on location. It’s another boon to the economy. Georgia is smart to be getting that money!
Southern Seasons Magazine