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Governor Perdue Signs Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act

Monday, May 9, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue today visited the studios of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.) in Atlanta to sign the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act (HB539). Governor Perdue was joined for the bill signing by Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of TBS, Inc., on the set of Movie and a Makeover .

“Georgia has a long-established relationship with the film and entertainment industry. Filmed here in our state, the HBO movie Warm Springs demonstrates our appeal as an attractive destination for these productions,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “This legislation has the potential to bring many more film projects to Georgia, generating a tremendous amount of economic benefit and providing highly sought-after jobs.”

HB539 increases Georgia's competitiveness in the entertainment industry and positions the state as a premiere location for film, music and entertainment technology. The legislation will help attract and grow traditional film and video companies and projects, as well as lay the foundation to grow the next generation of entertainment companies in this state.

Production companies investing at least $500,000 in services, materials and labor for a project in Georgia will receive a nine percent base tax credit applied to their total investment. Companies will receive an additional three percent tax credit for hiring Georgia residents. To encourage filming throughout the state, companies will receive an additional three percent tax credit for filming in an economically disadvantaged Tier 1 or Tier 2 county. If a production company invests more than $20 million in the state in multiple television projects in a single year, it will be entitled to an additional two percent tax credit.

Governor Perdue also announced two films to be produced in Georgia as a direct result of the new tax incentives. A music-driven ensemble comedy, produced by Warner Brothers Pictures in association with Sweet Tea Pictures and directed by Chris Robinson, will begin filming in metro Atlanta this summer. Local film and music producer Dallas Austin is a member of the film's production team. Also, writer/producer Tyler Perry will partner with Lions Gate Films and Reuben Cannon Productions for “Madea's Family Reunion,” a follow-up project to Perry's highly-successful “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” These projects bring together two of Georgia's biggest entertainment strengths: its film industry and its music industry.

“The film and video industry offers Georgia a tremendous economic boost through direct and indirect spending, tax revenue generation and the tourism recognition that comes with a locally-filmed production,” said Craig Lesser, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “The industry supports a variety of other Georgia business sectors, without requiring communities to expand their infrastructures to accommodate it.”

Motion picture, television, commercial and music video production supports over 300 industry-specific Georgia businesses and thousands of industry-specific professionals and crafts people. In addition to the significant direct economic impact that comes with a production, the film and video industry provides a tremendous economic boost through the tourism recognition that comes with a production that is filmed in the state. For example, the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil transformed Savannah's tourism industry. Success of the motion picture industry in Georgia will also further the state's efforts to grow the multimedia, computer-generated animation, game development, post production and other next generation media formats.

“I appreciate the leadership of Representative Larry O'Neal and Senator Mitch Seabaugh in guiding this bill through the legislature. I also want to thank Representative Butch Parrish who has not only been a legislative leader in this area, but served as a member of the Film, Video and Music Advisory Commission,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.

Georgia has been investing in this industry for over 32 years and has a tradition of filmmaking and television that includes Driving Miss Daisy , Sweet Home Alabama , Forrest Gump , Bobby Jones – Stroke of Genius , the recent HBO film Warm Springs , In the Heat of the Night and The Dukes of Hazzard. Since the inception of the Georgia Film, Video & Music Office in 1973, more than 500 major motion pictures and television movies have filmed on location in the state. As a result, more than $3 billion has been generated for the state's economy. In 2004, 252 productions including movies, television episodes, commercials and music videos accounted for $123.5 million injected into the state's economy.