Georgia Film and TV Production Surges With $1.4 Billion in Spending

A report based on the 2014 fiscal year estimates $5.1 billion in economic impact from 158 movies and TV shows filmed in the state.

The state of Georgia released figures Tuesday showing the extraordinary amount of movie and television productions during their fiscal year of 2014. According to the announcement, film, TV and digital production generated $1.4 billion, with an estimated economic impact of $5.1 billion.

Georgia is more than just the Tyler Perry productions. There were 158 feature films and TV shows shot in Georgia in the year ended July 31, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2; Taken 3; Fast and Furious 7; and Dumb and Dummer To. On the TV side, there was the The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries and The Red Band Society — among others.

The MPAA said in the announcement that the movie and TV business is responsible for 77,900 jobs and $3.8 billion in total wages in Georgia (both directly and indirectly). The MPAA members, such as Fox, Warner and Paramount, paid $696 million to 4,066 vendors in Georgia in 2012, including hotels, food service, technology and real estate.

"The film industry is a powerful economic generator and is creating jobs for Georgians as well as new opportunities to a highly skilled workforce," said Chris Carr, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. "Since 2008, more than 90 companies have located in Georgia to support the industry. These new businesses are generating jobs and ensuring the industry's sustainability in Georgia well into the future."

Georgia has come on fast over the last six years as it has become aggressive about seeking productions and offers financial incentives that run from 20 to 30 percent of what a production spends in the state. At present, the only states with more generous incentives are New York and Louisiana. All three easily surpass the program available in California.

On July 1, Gov. Nathan Deal's High Demand Career Initiative brought together people focused on film, TV and digital entertainment. They discussed the need for special training and certifications and how the plans for growth can be implemented among the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia and other leaders in the entertainment industries.