Southwest Georgia attracts booming film industry - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Southwest Georgia attracts booming film industry

Folks in southwest Georgia say the area has much to offer to the state's thriving film industry Folks in southwest Georgia say the area has much to offer to the state's thriving film industry
Lee Thomas, Director of Georgia's Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Division Lee Thomas, Director of Georgia's Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Division
Lauren Basford, Executive Director of Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce Lauren Basford, Executive Director of Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A top official in Georgia's Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Division visited Thomasville Thursday to see what the area had to offer to the state's thriving film industry. 

Southwest Georgia leaders said movie production could have a huge economic impact on the area.

It's no secret that Georgia has become one of the country's top locations for film and television productions.  And folks in southwest Georgia say we have something different to offer than busy streets and big cities. 

Lauren Basford, Executive Director of Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce, said, “This was an opportunity to show what's best about this region.  Over the last couple of days, we've been able to showcase Valdosta, Brooks County, and Quitman. And then this morning, Thomas County.”

It's Lee Thomas's first time visiting the area.

She's the Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Division, helping movie companies find places to film here.

Thomas said, “It's beautiful! You can tell that the community is very energetic.  It's very exciting to see.” 

That energy comes from the idea of new productions bringing new revenue for the area. 

“They're looking for things like hotel rooms, they're looking for caterers, they're looking for all the different industries that support production.  And what ends up happening is, because of that, there's a huge economic trickledown effect,” Basford said.  

With film and television tax credits set to expire soon in Florida and North Carolina, Lee said it's important for Georgia to stay relevant. 

Thomas said, “In 2014 we were doing $5.1 billion of economic impact.  So it's a huge driver.  It employs a lot of people, lots of ancillary businesses.  So it's very important that we keep it.” 

Basford said the visit was so successful that Thomas agreed to make a return visit to the area to brainstorm filming opportunities.  

Copyright  2015 WALB.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly