Last week, Netflix premiered the new series based on Jay Asher’s popular young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why. The series wasn’t filmed in Atlanta, but now after wrapping season one, two of the principle cast members Miles Heizer (who plays Alex Standall) and Katherine Langford (who plays the titular character Hannah Baker) are in Atlanta to film another movie based on a popular YA book Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Abertalli. Production code signs labeled PSI have been seen near Fort Gillem and near Oglethorpe University.
As Atlanta grows as a film capital, the caliber of talent and scope of production has begun to grow. But why exactly is Atlanta the southern hub for the film industry?
- Georgia provides a tax incentive to film makers. Unlike other states, Georgia provides up to a 30% tax credit that makes it more affordable to film in the state.
- This incentive has moved Georgia to number three behind New York State and Los Angeles. This number three spot has held steady since the early 2000s when the incentive was introduced, and that stability is important to filmmakers who are investing in their projects.
- Atlanta is home to the only North American branch of Pinewood Studios. Pinewood has been used as studio and backlot space for all of the Marvel movies that were filmed in Atlanta and that are featured in our AMT Hero Tour.
- In addition to Pinewood, Tyler Perry‘s studio calls Atlanta home, as do many smaller studios scattered around Atlanta ITP and OTP.
- The state as a whole is very diverse in terms of locations available. The tax incentives are available when filmmakers spend over $500,000 filming in any part of the state. Filmmakers are able to stay in one state for anything from beaches to mountains.
- New films are now able to stay in Atlanta to complete movies from pre- to post-production with the emergence of post-production studios like Moonshine Post-Production and Open River Studios in Fayetteville.
- Atlanta is home to several television broadcasting networks. CNN, TBS, and Cartoon Network are all headquartered in Atlanta.
- The structure of Atlanta’s city and the growing capabilities of studios allows film-makers to turn the city into anything they can imagine. Atlanta has been turned into anything from The Capital of The Hunger Games to New York City in the Marvel Cinematic Universe complete with superheroes flying through the skies.
- Georgia colleges have created career paths to train future workers in the film industry.
- The proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is to be desired. Because of its scale and the volume of flights everyday, it’s easy for filmmakers and actors to travel as needed between states or other countries.
- The weather in Georgia, while unpredictable, is less extreme than in New York and LA. In LA, it is difficult to film things don’t take place in warmer weather; in New York, films that need winter scenes shot run into trouble.
- The government and police forces are very willing to work with filmmakers. When filming Baby Driver in Dunwoody, the Dunwoody police were involved in shutting down the roads for a robbery scene but also added to the ambience of the film.
- As the filmmaking industry grows, so does the tourism industry. In 2015, over $3 billion of taxes were generated either directly or indirectly because of tourism in the state. As more film are made here, more and more fans decide to visit Atlanta and Georgia in general. And because of the tight-knit community of the GA film-makers and tourism industry, companies like Atlanta Movie Tours continue to thrive as local actors choose to share their experiences on industry sets with die-hard fans who have travelled to see where their favorite films were created.