By Matthew Wilson
Georgia’s film and television industry is robust, flourishing, and seemingly sustainable. According to the Georgia Film Office, as of March 2023, there are 31 projects being filmed in the state ranging from feature films to television series to unscripted reality productions.
Such totals are impressive and represent a trend that is almost 20 years in the making. Since the adoption of the initial film tax credit in 2005, the state has experienced consistent and sustained growth each year with the only exception occurring in 2020, but the tax credits don’t tell the whole story.
While many other states have experimented with incentive measures, whether in the form of tax credits, rebates, or direct subsidies, Georgia’s story stands out as a unique example of prolonged success.
As of 2022, 35 U.S. states offer some form of incentive to the film industry to encourage production activities within their borders. Nonetheless, while various markets enjoyed brief periods of boom, including Arizona and Missouri, few were able to sustain that success – let alone expand upon it.
By comparison, the industry in Georgia has matured to the point that growth is now expected. In terms of direct spending, production expenditures increased from approximately $20 million in 2007 to $4.4 billion in 2022, with the pandemic causing the only temporary interruption.
Understanding what makes Georgia different requires that we zoom out to see the whole picture.