Lights, camera, action: Film industry likes SW Georgia
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -A multi-billion dollar industry will have a bright future in Southwest Georgia.
Albany, Tifton, Thomasville, Valdosta, and Fitzgerald are some of the cities where productions were filmed in 2019.
Lee Thomas with the Georgia Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Office says there are “Two projects right now in Thomasville Georgia a Queen Latifah, Dennis Quaid movie. I mean it’s an exciting time with all the film making in South Georgia.”
Some productions are still being filmed now.
She says film crews and studios are branching outside of metro Atlanta for work and “The industry is really maturing and finding new areas of the state that they haven’t been before," Thomas said.
She adds "We’re also seeing a lot of smaller productions that have found homes in areas outside of the metro (Atlanta) area and had a good experience and they come back and do another project there.”
It’s also unique filming locations that have directors, producers, and studios heading south, including the ID Channel, who needed a desert setting, so they filmed right here in Albany
Rashelle Beasley is the “Camera Ready” liaison for Dougherty County and “When somebody says desert they are throwing out Albany Georgia immediately. Obviously the sand dunes. We’re the only place that someone could film a desert-like film (in Georgia).”
She says “We estimate the number of local people employed by the film industry has been about 50 in 2019. We anticipate that number to grow. The cast and crews have been staying in our hotels and renting houses. They’ve all been shopping in our shops.”
Fitzgerald saw a big impact from the film industry this year, with two movies and a TV series film there in 2019.
Brandy Elrod is the Camera Ready Liaison in Ben Hill County, and tells us that Bruce Willis recently finished his latest film “Anti-Life” in Fitzgerald.
The internationally known actor spent hundreds of dollars in Fitzgerald.
He was even spotted 30 minutes away eating at a local Tifton restaurant around the same time.
Actors are spending their money all over Southwest Georgia and so are film studios.
Elrod adds “There’s three in the works for the first quarter of the year, and we anticipate that many at least in each quarter. So we could potentially end up with 12 movies under our belt in 2020.”
Almost 400 productions filmed in Georgia in 2019, according to Governor Brian Kemp’s office.
They also say $2.9 billion was spent by productions in fiscal year 2019.
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