The film and entertainment industry has been using the state of Georgia to produce films since the early 1970s. Recently there has been a real trend in the Hollywood market to move more of their work to our well-endowed state. In 2006 Actor/Producer Tyler Perry opened the Tyler Perry Studios to South Atlanta, where he shot the film Daddy’s Little Girls (2007) and films his television situation comedy House of Payne, which began airing on TBS Superstation in 2006. In 2008 the BET network premiered the comedy series Somebodies, written by University of Georgia graduate Henry Cameron “Hadjii” Hand and filmed in Athens.
During the first decade of the twenty-first century, both public and private entities across the state worked to create new incentives encouraging filmmakers to bring their projects to Georgia. In 2001 the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation exempting the television and film industry from sales and use taxes on production-related expenses, and in 2005 it passed the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which offered income tax credits for filmmakers who worked in Georgia. The legislation resulted in a revenue increase for the state from $124 million in 2004 to $475 million in 2006.
In May 2008 Georgia governor Sonny Perdue signed into law a revised Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which gives production companies a 20 percent tax credit for filming in Georgia. The inclusion of an animated logo promoting the state earns filmmakers an additional 10 percent credit. The ceremony for the signing was held at the studios of Turner Broadcasting System. I truly believe this trend has assisted in the growth of our state. All of our economy seems to be consistently growing. Stay tuned to see even more growth as developments increase, housing starts to increase and the foreclosure gap begins to close, all thanks to our entertainment industry friends!