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Savannah, Georgia, to launch regional filming incentive

Savannah in Georgia is set to launch a new regional filming incentive. From January 2016, the city will offer a 10% cash rebate.

The Savannah Entertainment Production Incentive will offer $1.5m a year in cash rebates for three years, reports Savannah Morning News. Producers will be able to access the support in addition to Georgia’s state-wide incentive.

“By adding our own incentives, we are positioning Savannah to be the number two location for entertainment production in the state, behind Atlanta, which currently has more,” said Trip Tollison, president and CEO of Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA), in comments to the outlet.

In addition, production crew with at least seven years of experience will be eligible for $2,000 towards the cost of relocating to Savannah. Georgia has a relatively small crew pool and this has become one of the most pressing issues for the state’s film industry.

“Because Savannah has a limited crew base, it has historically been more expensive to shoot there than Atlanta, since productions need to bring in additional workers from nearby markets,” added Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner for film, music and digital entertainment for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, to Savannah Morning News.

“I believe that SEDA’s incentives will help alleviate this additional cost and that in three years the labour pool will be strong enough to support the increased business.”

Savannah authorities will later consider expanding the incentive programme to stimulate studio development. Moon River Studios is planned for Effingham just outside Savannah and developers say it is currently the largest studio in development in the US.  

Production in Georgia focuses on Atlanta but Savannah is aiming to boost its filming profile in the US and has already had success with the likes of Magic Mike XXL (above). The city has also hired experienced movie producer Ralph Singleton to help promote Savannah in Hollywood.

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