Georgia has turned into one of the most popular production hubs in the US for big-budget features and TV shows through a combination of generous filming incentive support, flexible locations and production resources such as Pinewood Atlanta Studios.
Georgia enjoys a moderate climate year-round. Summers are hot and humid - with the exception of mountain areas - and winters are fairly mild, with some snowfall in the interior.
Marvel has become a long-term resident of Pinewood Atlanta Studios, having first shot Ant-Man at the facility and most recently filming both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame in Atlanta, as well as Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Atlanta is on the short-list for most big-budget Hollywood studio shoots - a selection of recent examples includes Dwayne Johnson's monster movie Rampage, Edgar Wright's heist film Baby Driver and Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong biopic First Man.
AMC's zombie drama ratings phenomenon The Walking Dead has been based in the state since 2010.
Georgia does not require state-wide filming permits. Permits are not required for shooting on private property (beyond the owner’s permission) unless public property is affected.
Some municipalities and federal agencies may require permits to shoot at certain locations within their jurisdiction. When this is the case, the process is generally easy, quick and inexpensive. To find out which ones they are, contact the county Camera Ready Liaisons to inquire about restrictions and permitting.
The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office offers a list of municipalities and agencies that require film permits or that have posted filming guidelines. Permits must be requested from the individual counties or municipalities. The office does not issue permits.
Permitting for streets, buildings and parks in the city of Atlanta is done through the Mayor’s Office of Entertainment. If you require the part closure of a street or sidewalk you must request permission three business days in advance of requested closure. Full street closures should be made five business days in advance.
Since 2010 over a dozen studios have opened, expanded or announced plans to operate in Georgia, including Pinewood, which joins Tyler Perry’s studio, Raleigh and others.
Pinewood Atlanta offers a full service film and entertainment studio complex comprised of 11 sound stages just south of Atlanta. In late 2014 the company announced a doubling in size.
Another Atlanta-based studio complex is EUE/Screen Gems Studios Atlanta, the first full-service production studio campus to open in Atlanta. Based ten minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, it is a ten-stage, 33-acre site with sound stages, 250,000 sq ft of production space and 40,000 sq ft of furnished office space.
Tyler Perry Studios is a 200,000 sq ft studio located in south-west Atlanta. It consists of five sound stages, a post-production facility, a back lot, a 400-seat theatre, a private screening room and designated areas for entertaining and hosting events.
Such is the surge in production witnessed in Georgia - and Atlanta specifically - that there aren’t enough production spaces if you are a large-scale film and television content creator. Perry recently bought former military base Fort McPherson and plans to turn it into a new movie studio.
A new mega-movie studio has also opened in Gwinnett County and Georgia is also planning on turning the Civic Centre into another movie studio. The project plans include film and television studios surrounded by a performing arts centre, a hotel and a mix of residential, office and retail space.
For more stages and sound studios, take a look at our listings.
Sim Group is one provider of post-production in Georgia and has an office in Atlanta. Authorities are considering ways to attract more post-production companies to the state as the film industry continues to grow.
With a wide variety of stunning and evocative locations, Georgia has hosted a number of films that have tapped directly into its natural resources.
A rural state at heart, the bright lights of its capital Atlanta, Georgia’s largest city, are a wild aberration by comparison. The city where Martin Luther King Jr was born, preached and is buried, is bustling with a forward-thinking energy that really buttresses the film industry. Locations of interest in Atlanta are its many diverse neighbourhoods, Piedmont Park and Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park. Historic Civil War and Civil Rights sites are also very popular.
Old-South looks are found outside of Atlanta with charmingly quaint small towns, such as Social Circle, and historic homes a short hour’s drive away from the capital. Plantations, steam trains, riverboats, Rex Mill Bridge and Spanish moss hanging from Cypress and Oak trees all and evoke the old southern charm popular with production scouts. As do the farms of peaches, cotton, tobacco and corn.
The coast, however, is perhaps the state’s main attraction. Stretching down from Savannah via the sea islands to the semitropical Okefenokee swamp, it has plenty of beautiful locations for filming. The coastal city of Savannah, known for its garden squares lined with Antebellum mansions, is unique, charming and historic.
Natural locations of interest include Tellulah Falls and Gorge, and Providence Canyon. In the north-east, the Appalachian foothills are beautiful in the autumn.
Since the early days of film, Georgia has also doubled for numerous locations around the world. The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office has a small sampling of locations on offer. If you are seeking specific locations, one of their veteran location scouts can put a photo package together from their database.
Georgia has highly professional and talented crews, supported by experienced art departments and set construction teams, excellent labs, equipment houses and post-production companies.
Sim Group is a family of companies which can deliver a range of services across the production pipeline, from rentals to post-production facilities. They have Panasonic, Arri, RED EPIC and Phantom Flex among others, with a large variety of lenses on offer. Pitching itself as the most comprehensive service provider for the motion picture and television industries, Sim Group has offices in Atlanta, as well as Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Beijing and LA.
Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment offers custom camera support equipment for all types of motion picture and television productions. They specialise in camera cranes, arms, telescoping arms, dollies, pedestals, remote camera and camera stabilising systems.
PCE-Atlanta is another safe bet for both equipment and lighting/grip rental. It has a large range of cameras, from digital to 35mm, and also provides camera support. It also has two sound stages and, at 18,000 sq ft, the finest lighting and grip warehouse in Atlanta.
Most equipment, grip, lighting and camera gear is available locally. Anything else can be flown in from Los Angeles.