The Georgia governor’s office on Friday said that 75 film and TV productions are set to shoot there over the next 18 months, as the state looks to emphasize that it is open for business.
Tyler Perry is expected to be the first out of the gate, having previously said that he will resume work on BET’s “Sistas” at his Atlanta studio on July 8. But Gov. Brian Kemp said that the major studios are set to get rolling shortly after that.
Georgia is being much less restrictive than California or New York when it comes to restarting production. On May 22, the governor’s office issued “recommendations” for filming in the state.
They are couched mainly as suggestions, in contrast with the prescriptive regulations issued Thursday by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which include such mandates as that actors should remain as silent as possible during filming to avoid spreading droplets.
Film production is still not allowed in New York City. Counties in Upstate New York have been approved for limited pre-production and post-production, but no filming is allowed if more than 10 people are on set. It’s not clear when those restrictions will be lifted.
So at least in the early going, Georgia could end up being a more attractive place to film.
“I think it will have that effect,” said Steve Weizenecker, vice chair of Kemp’s entertainment advisory commission. “I think we’ll be in production before L.A. or New York.”
Weizenecker emphasized that Georgia is following public health guidance, and said the filming guidelines are not intended to give the state a competitive advantage over other states.
“Obviously everyone wants their folks to be safe when they’re operating,” he said. “But everyone also wants to go somewhere where you can get things done as quickly as possible.”
Georgia had 391 film and TV productions in fiscal 2019, so 75 projects over the next 18 months would represent a steep drop. However, that figure represents only the projects from Motion Picture Association members — that is, the major studios and streamers — and it is expected to increase.
Georgia also offers an uncapped 30% tax incentive for film and TV production, which amounted to $860 million in subsidies in fiscal 2019.
“The entertainment production industry is coming back and ready to jumpstart the Georgia economy by creating jobs and generating greatly needed investment and spending in communities across the Peach State,” Kemp said in a statement.