State Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) was recently named chair of the new House Economic Development Subcommittee on Film and Entertainment.

Tom Taylor

The subcommittee was recently created to consider legislation that will continue to promote the state of Georgia as a destination location for film, video gaming and digital entertainment projects.

“We have seen Georgia’s film industry make tremendous gains over the last several years in terms of an increased number of projects being filmed in our state, job creation and growth, and an overall economic impact to our state,” said Rep. Taylor in a press release. Taylor is also chair of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Overview Committee (MARTOC).

“The House has previously created study committees that have met during the interim to study the investments and economic contributions made to our state by this industry; however, the creation of a House subcommittee further shows our body’s commitment to ensuring that Georgia retains its status as the ‘Hollywood of the South,’ and I am excited to be named the chair of this subcommittee.”

In 2008, Georgia began offering 30 percent tax credits to productions with at least a $500,000 budget that were willing to show the Georgia logo at the end of the credits. The Georgia Department of Economic Development reported that for fiscal year 2017, film and TV productions added $7 billion to the state’s economy thanks to the tax breaks, with $2 billion from direct spending. In contrast, in 2007, filming production added $242 million to the state’s economy.

The subcommittee on Jan. 25 visited the Atlanta Metro Studios in Union City to tour the new production facility and meet with industry leaders.

Atlanta Metro Studios was created by founders and managing partners Ed Richardson, Brian Livesay and John Rooker to address the deficit of large-scale, purpose-built studio facilities in Georgia’s existing film infrastructure by building sound stages, production offices and flex space in a secure campus environment.

The first phase of Atlanta Metro Studios is a full service facility located on the site of the former Shannon Mall in Union City and includes 135,000 square feet of purpose-built sound stages, 60,000 square feet of production offices and 50,000 square feet of flex/mill space, as well as five acres of backlot. Atlanta Metro Studios also features the two largest purpose-built sound stages in all of North America.

“Large-scale infrastructure development is key to welcoming larger productions with longer production schedules that bring along even more locally hired jobs,” Richardson said in the press release. “It’s very important to remember that none of this would be possible without the leadership and steadfast support of Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia’s film economy is absolutely thriving and is experiencing a sustained boom.”

“Atlanta Metro Studios is proud to join the long list of amenities that keeps Georgia on the map for producers and content creators all over the world over. With thousands of locations, small town charm, wildly varied architecture, rivers, farms, the North Georgia mountains, urban backdrops, as well as ocean, coastal lands and the Golden Isles, our state is a terrific fit for film making,” Livesay said in the release.

During fiscal year 2016, feature film and television productions in Georgia generated an economic impact of more than $7 billion, with the 245 feature film and television productions shot in Georgia representing $2.02 billion in direct spending in the state, according to state officials. As a result, Georgia now ranks number three in TV and movie productions, just behind California and New York.

Subcommittee members include: Rep. Josh Bonner (R-Peachtree City), Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville), Jon Burns (R-Newington), Katie Dempsey (R-Rome), J. Craig Gordon (D-Savannah), Gerald Greene (R-Cuthbert), Michele Henson (D-Stone Mountain), Pete Marin (D-Duluth), Randy Nix (R-LaGrange), Butch Parrish (R-Swainsboro), Terry Rogers (R-Clarkesville), Paulette Rakestraw (R-Powder Springs), Jason Shaw (R-Lakeland), Brian Strickland (R-McDonough), and Al Williams (D-Midway).

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.