I moved from Los Angeles to my hometown of Atlanta in 2001. Not because I was following a trend or even starting one. I have however seen a dramatic change in the city since I got back after living out of state for a decade. LA was a city dominated by the film and television business. News reports often began with reports of the latest in the movie business. While living there, I experienced a couple of strikes that were very detrimental to people I knew. “The business” seemed to have an effect on everything and everyone.
Back in Atlanta, whose economy at the time was dominated by Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and the world’s busiest airport was suffering from the airline business restructuring. In 2001, they were very different cities who really only had horrific traffic in common.
That was until the Georgia legislature decided to create the most aggressive film tax credit in the nation. Suddenly, films were coming and the infrastructure was built here to accommodate them. Georgia by many accounts has more major films and television dramas being produced here than in California. That’s a dramatic change for the business and the state. Hopefully, the investment here by major studios will remain. Many in California believe they will. Over the last several years multiple large studio complexes have been built. But what about the post-production industry, development jobs and network jobs? Will those come too? What if the tax credits went away?
The Georgia film production tax credit has definitely brought and kept production jobs in the state but has it cemented a place in the industry for Georgia and Atlanta?