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Georgia the No. 1 Filming Location in the World

Hundreds of production and other film-related jobs have come to fruition thanks to the expansion of the film and TV industry. Photo: Georgia Department of
Economic Development

A study conducted in 2016 by FilmL.A. reveals that the state of Georgia is now the biggest filming location in the world. According to Governor Nathan Deal’s office, Georgia hosted a whopping 320 high end TV and film productions in fiscal year 2017. Throughout FY 2017 the film and TV industry generated $9.5 billion for the state. In 2007 the state government spent $67.7 million in incentives to attract film and TV projects, and now Georgia is spending $2.7 billion. In a mere 10 years, Georgia has eclipsed Hollywood as the most popular filming location on the planet.

The explosive growth of the industry in Georgia has brought many positive changes to the city. It has provided thousands of jobs for the state, has allowed small businesses to grow and flourish, and has attracted new tourism to the state. In addition, the state has seen significant growth of its infrastructure, especially with the construction of Three Ring Studios, a massive studio complex in Covington with state of the art facilities for film and television, music and gaming. Georgia universities are taking advantage of this unprecedented growth by offering film production courses. Clayton State offers a film production curriculum where students can gain skills in storytelling, compositing, editing, special effects, motion graphics and sound effects. 

Over the years, some of the biggest movies and TV shows have begun filming in Georgia. Netflix productions like “Stranger Things” and “Ozark” are filmed almost exclusively in Georgia. The question that many ask is: why Georgia? Georgia is appealing to directors for its diversity, farmland, skyscrapers, coastline and massive interstate system. What is especially appealing is the airport. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has been the busiest airport in the world for years. The transportation aspect of Atlanta’s airport is invaluable to directors. Currently, some of the biggest Marvel movies are being filmed here. Some examples are both “Venom” and “Ant Man and the Wasp.”

Some of Georgia’s most famous landmarks have been receiving a heap of attention from the industry. Atlanta’s historic Swan House was popularized as a film site thanks to “The Hunger Games” trilogy, and it now receives two to three film requests per year. One of the huge fight scenes in “Captain America: Civil War” was filmed at Porsche Experience Center right next to the airport. Piedmont Park was used in the filming of the highly anticipated sequel: “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”

In addition to providing revenue and visibility for the state, the film and television industry has likely assisted in attracting Amazon to consider Atlanta as a spot for its second HQ. Georgia’s high investment in the film industry has earned itself the title of the Hollywood of The South. But expect the industry to continue to grow in Georgia, as it’s only getting started.