ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Dougherty County is ready for its close up. It's been selected as one of 16 camera ready communities in the state.
Thanks to strong tax incentives for the film and television industry, Georgia is now among the top five states in the nation for productions. The Camera Ready designation lets production companies know they'll have easier, faster, and better access to local resources and information that can help them set up shop in an area.
Some would argue that Albany is already a movie-making town, with movie making church Sherwood now hard at work editing its fourth feature film. Each time they make a movie, they put people to work in town, and keep money rolling into the community long after they've shot their last take.
Every Sunday morning, you can find people visiting Sherwood Baptist Church from all across the country. Many come for one reason.
"We try to, in all of our movies, highlight the most beautiful aspects of the city, or the most visually rich aspects of the city and so it has caused people when they've seen the movies to want to come to Albany," said Stephen Kendrick of Sherwood Pictures.
The movies have become such a draw, the Convention and Visitors Bureau now offers a movie tour, highlighting some of the places that were in the films.
"These places, we see them everyday and so it's not a big deal to us, but when I go to other cities, if I know a movie was shot there, I would want to see those places, too," said Kendrick.
And when those people come to Albany for a glimpse of the glitter, they stay in our hotels, and eat in our restaurants, leaving an economic footprint. "Anytime you shoot a movie in a city, it helps the city financially."
Not just after the movie is shot and tourists come to town, but especially while the movie is in production. "They hire local people. They hire local people to build sets, they hire local caterers, they have local for almost everything they do," sad Lisa Riddle of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
And movie producers are already taking a look at coming to Albany to set up for months at a time. "Since this whole process has started, our phone is ringing off the hook with scouts that are calling and looking for specific things."
Ready to put Albany in the spotlight again. Georgia's film and television industry has taken off in the past few years. Almost 350 productions took place in the last fiscal year with an economic impact of more than $1.3 Billion.
A database of camera ready communities has been established. It has a list of filming locations producers may be interested in. To check out Dougherty county's information, Click HERE.