We’ve all heard the adage “if it bleeds, it leads” in news today, and Georgia’s burgeoning film industry is no different. We’ve also heard lately about Netflix’s return to LA and now Captain Marvel has chosen not to film in Georgia – a move that wounds some who take pride in its presence here. As ominous as it sounds, the truth is that Georgia maintains one of the most competitive film tax credit programs in the country, and as long as it continues to do so, Georgia’s film industry will continue to flourish.
With Georgia’s robust film industry comes an array of job and economy-stimulating needs that drive the economy, beyond just the revenue from film production. Remember, the actors, actresses, producers and other staff all have to eat, sleep, shop and be entertained in the cities in which they’re working. And while that doesn’t hit the “bottom line” for a film’s revenues, it does contribute to Georgia’s economic bottom line –$9.5 billion generated by the industry in fiscal 2017.
So why would Captain Marvel choose to return to California now, despite Georgia’s incentives? California is adopting some of the tax credits it dropped previously; the infrastructure is in place; and, ultimately, locations are selected based on talent, availability of studio space, crews and geographical needs—be that mountains, water or other specific requirements.
But there’s no need to worry: Georgia has a diverse landscape that accommodates most of those needs, and Georgia continues to offer excellent incentives for film production, including the passing of tax credits to support in-state post-production earlier this year.
Yes, it stings when film production companies elect to relocate back to California or other areas, but fear not. As long as Georgia continues to offer the super incentives, amazing geography and other resources that attract film production companies, we will continue to see this industry thrive and benefit the state.