Georgia movie studios ready to open with SAG-AFTRA strike ending

Assembly Atlanta in Doraville, Georgia
Assembly Atlanta in Doraville, Georgia(WANF)
Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 11:56 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2023 at 8:13 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The SAG-AFTRA strike is officially over and studios in Georgia are ready to open their gates for casts and crews after months of quiet on set.

“It’s been painfully quiet. We’re used to being a hub of activity, we’ve missed the crew members we’ve built relationships with,” said Justin Campbell, the VP of studio operations for Assembly Atlanta.

Those who work in the industry are ready to get back to work.

Hannah Hildebrandt says it’s been a rough few months, “I’ve been off work since June been on strike in supporting the sag members and writer’s guild members on strike.”

Hildebrandt is an Art Director who makes sets for movies.

She says she started a baking business just to get by, “That really helped us pay for bills - until now.”

She is one nearly 60,000 Georgians employed by the TV and film industry whose grateful a deal has been reached.

The industry itself had an $8.55 billion total economic output last year, impacting more than just people in the industry.

Two new studios, Assembly Atlanta, owned by Atlanta News First’s parent company Gray Television, and Athena Movie Studios in Athens, are happy to open with the strike ending.

“We expect a flood of interest with the news finally broken,” said Campbell.

“That ending, I think, is a big weight off the entertainment industry’s shoulders, I know it is, and we’re ready to get going,” said Joel Harber, the CEO of Athena Movie Studios.

So, how soon could crews be back to work?

“The phones started ringing last night for us, so that’s a good thing,” said Harber.

Hildebrandt says for those working on set it may take some time, “I think January is going to be the big boom of everyone is going back to work, new shows are starting, hiatus shows are returning. It’s going to be really exciting. I just don’t think we’re going back to work until the new year most likely.”

Campbell says studio space for January is already booking up, “There’s been back panel discussions during the strike just to be in a ready position and we feel we are ready and prepared, and we look forward to it,” said Campbell.