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Georgia to double as Florida in Marc Webb film

Filmmaker Marc Webb will spend the next few weeks shooting new movie Gifted on Tybee Island off the coast of Georgia, doubling the region for St Petersburg in Florida.

Gifted tells the story of a father trying to look out for the best interests of his daughter after she is labelled as a gifted student when enrolled at school for the first time. The film features Captain America star Chris Evans (pictured) and Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer.

The film is another loss for Florida, which lacks a funded filming incentive programme and as a result is struggling to attract high-profile Hollywood shoots.

“I read the Gifted script – it takes place in St. Pete,” said Tony Armer, head of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission, in comments to the Tampa Tribune.

“I talked to the writer. I met with the producers. They all wanted to come here. It has an Avenger, an A-list director and an Oscar winner. It has a seven-figure budget. The film is no slouch. This is such a shame. It was our film to lose and we lost it.”

Georgia has become one of the top production hubs in the US through a combination of its filming incentives and world-class studio infrastructure. Filming is focussed in Atlanta, but other cities like Savannah are looking to build their profiles.

Filmmaking titan Tyler Perry is set to continue improving this infrastructure with a new base for Tyler Perry Studios, at a former military complex in south-east Atlanta.   

“Four months ago I bought Fort McPherson Army Base,” Perry wrote on his Facebook page. “It's the future home of the new Tyler Perry Studios. I'll keep you posted on the progress.”

Pinewood Atlanta Studios is one of the top production facilities in Georgia and has become a long-term base for Marvel, hosting movies like Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War.

For more on filming in Georgia, see our production guide.