There was a time when it was almost unheard of to shoot a film outside of Hollywood unless you were shooting at a very specific location that couldn’t be replicated. However, during the 21st century, you might have noticed the little “Made in Georgia” jingle that comes at the end of television credits or the peach logo that appears at the end of a film’s credits.
It seems to be popping up more and more, and a lot of people are wondering why Georgia is such a popular location. After all, the summers in Georgia can create some sweltering heat and humidity that can take its toll on the cast and crew. Hollywood’s climate makes for a perfect movie production setting, but like anything in moviemaking, it all comes down to money.
Back in 2008, Sonny Perdue was the Governor of Georgia. The film “Ray”, a biopic about singer and Georgia native Ray Charles (which earned Jamie Foxx and Oscar for Best Actor) considered shooting in Georgia, but ended up in Louisiana. Perdue wanted to make sure that the state didn’t lose out on another major film like that again.
With that, Perdue announced that his state would give massive tax breaks to feature films and television shows. For instance, if a movie has a production that cost at least $500,000, Georgia would give a 20 percent tax incentive. If the producer added that familiar peach logo that you see at the end of the credits, that incentive jumps up to an impressive 30 percent. Because of this, almost every major blockbuster you’ve seen in the past decade has had a significant amount of scenes shot in Georgia.
“You just follow the money,” said actor and director Ben Affleck. “What happens is that you’re faced with a situation of shooting somewhere you want to shoot, versus somewhere you’d less rather shoot – and you get an extra three weeks of filming. It comes down to the fact that you have ‘x’ amount of money to make your movie in a business where margins are really thin.” Affleck won an Oscar in 2013 for his film “Argo”.
Only California and New York are now ahead of Georgia in filming locations for productions. “It’s really nice to be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities presented to you,” said Craig Miller, the chair of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Commission. “You have to be ready.”
He adds that Atlanta having one of the largest airports in the United States is also a huge benefit for their appeal. “Big players in the movie industry need to get back to L.A. quickly,” he said. “Nobody else can offer the amount of direct transportation that Atlanta can.”