The Official Portal for the State of Georgia

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue
Georgia Seal

Governor Perdue Makes Acting Debut in 'We Are Marshall'

Wednesday, June 14, 2006  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Governor Perdue Makes Acting Debut in “We Are Marshall”

Film Being Shot in Georgia Thanks to Legislation Passed in 2005

ATLANTA – Today Governor Sonny Perdue visited the set of “We Are Marshall” to play the role of an East Carolina football coach whose team played Marshall just hours before the 1970 plane crash that claimed the lives of 75 football players, coaches, staff and other team supporters.

“Georgia has always had distinct advantages that make it attractive to filmmakers such as our warm climate, diverse locations and talented crew base,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “I’m pleased that with the help of the General Assembly, we were able to devise a sensible tax credit program making Georgia a preferred location for the film industry.”

In 2005 Governor Perdue signed into law the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act. While Georgia had been a popular destination for film productions for years due to its natural advantages, some producers chose places like Ontario and Louisiana for filming due to tax credit programs. Georgia’s Act put the state back on the minds of film producers who had seen great success filming movies in the state such as Driving Mrs. Daisy, Glory, Forrest Gump, Remember the Titans and Drumline.

The foundation of the Act is a nine percent investment tax credit. Production companies that spend a minimum of $500,000 in the state on qualified production and post production expenditures in a single year are eligible for this credit.

The Act awards additional tax credits of three percent for all Georgia residents employed by the production and an additional three percent for expenditures in Tier 1 and Tier 2 Georgia counties. Typically, these underdeveloped counties are outside of metro Atlanta.

For companies with multiple television projects that spend in excess of $20 million in qualified expenditures in Georgia within a single year, the Act awards tax credits of two percent. Eligible productions include feature films, television movies, pilots or series, commercials, music videos and certain interactive projects.

“The tragic story of Marshall University’s loss is being told through the terrific work of the film’s producers, directors, actors and crew,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “I’m proud that Georgia could serve as the backdrop for this movie.” Today’s shoot took place at DeKalb Memorial Stadium off Memorial Drive east of Atlanta.

We Are Marshall, an inspirational drama based on a true story of one town’s efforts to rebuild after a devastating plane crash, began production on April 3 in Huntington, West Virginia, for Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Legendary Pictures. The film is directed by McG (the Charlie’s Angels series) and stars Matthew McConaughey (Failure to Launch), Matthew Fox (ABC’s Lost), Golden Globe winner Ian McShane (HBO’s Deadwood) and Oscar nominee David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck).

We Are Marshall tells an inspiring true story set in Huntington, West Virginia, a small town steeped in the rich tradition of college football. For decades, players, coaches, fans and families have come together to cheer on Marshall University’s “Thundering Herd.” For this team and this community, Marshall football is more than just a sport, it’s a way of life. But on a fateful night in 1970, while traveling back to Huntington after a game in North Carolina, 75 members of Marshall’s football team and coaching staff were killed in a plane crash. As those left behind struggled to cope with the devastating loss of their loved ones, the grieving families found hope and strength in the leadership of Jack Lengyel, a young coach who was determined to rebuild Marshall’s football program and, in the process, help a community to heal.

We Are Marshall is scheduled to open in theaters on October 27, 2006.

Governor Sonny Perdue as East Carolina football coach on the set of “We Are Marshall,” filmed at DeKalb Memorial Stadium in Atlanta. Photo taken by Cara Pastore, Photographer, Georgia Department of Economic Development.

# # #