Top officials in Georgia’s film industry this week praised the state as a place where it’s easy to do business during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they said government officials in other states made their jobs difficult.
These individuals addressed members of the State House Creative Arts & Entertainment Committee this week.
One of them, Frank Patterson, president and CEO of Trilith Studios, told committee members that COVID-19 almost forced them to stop producing content.
“Pre-Covid in the film industry, we were overwhelmed with the advent of streaming services and the changes in consumer behaviors and the way we were all consuming content. There literally was not enough content. Wall Street was pouring more money into the pipeline than we had the capacity to produce around the world,” Patterson said.
“There was not enough stages, not enough facilities, not enough labor, and not enough creative talent. It was challenging, and then COVID hit. Everyone went home and started consuming content at the same moment that we all had to stop making content. It seems like people were at their houses and [they] watched everything on the Internet. But we weren’t making any content.”
Trilith Studios, according to Patterson’s LinkedIn page, was involved with the production of WandaVision, Avengers: Endgame, and Ant-Man and the Wasp.
“Georgia was able to get its studios back up and back to work before anybody else, and we are grateful to you and our state leaders for making difficult decisions at the time to determine how and when we would get back to work,” Patterson said.
“Unlike some other states, we didn’t have state leaders slowing our efforts to get folks back to work, and this created an important sense of certainty for our industry colleagues.”
As The Georgia Star News reported last month, the people who work for Georgia’s film and television studios are not only working again but working more frequently than their counterparts at competing studios in California and the United Kingdom.
That’s because officials in Georgia’s state government have a more lenient COVID-19 policy. Georgia studios opened back up not long after the start of the pandemic.
According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, film and television studios take advantage of a state tax credit to film within the state. Studio executives can apply that tax credit to 20 percent of a production’s qualified expenditures in Georgia. They may also earn a potential 10 percent Georgia Entertainment Promotion uplift by including an embedded Georgia logo on approved projects.
Also as reported, Georgia State Rep. David Clark (R-Buford) has introduced a bill that, if enacted into law, would repeal the state’s film, gaming, video, and digital production income tax credits.
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