Once coined Hotlanta, the Georgia state capital is now being touted as the Hollywood of the South. While the Southern city has been home to massive television empires under the Turner brand like CNN, HLN, Cartoon Network, and TNT for decades, it seems like Tinsel Town is falling in love with Georgia as well. Of course they are!
In what has been a growing trend over the past several years, more and more of our favorite shows and movies are choosing to film in Atlanta over the traditional Hollywood lots. There is a good reason for it; it’s cheaper! The state of Georgia offers a tax credit up to 30% of a production’s expenses. In other words, pays to come on down South.
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Southern Living spoke with a few women in the production industry about the benefits of the change of scenery for their business. Misty Showalter is a Freelance Producer currently working on Investigation Discovery’s Swamp Murders.
“They can save tens of thousands of dollars out of the production budget,” Showalter said of the tax credits.
“Also, Atlanta is so varied that you can make it look like any part of the country. That’s another reason why production companies love coming here.”
But Showalter, the mother of two, also adds that she sees more personal benefits to having all of this work come to the South.
“Being able to stay here in Atlanta, with the low cost of living, I am able to raise my kids with a nice big yard and I am still able to do what I love, all within forty-five minutes to an hour from my house. It might be long hours but I still get to see my kids in the morning or at night.”
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Allison Hanley is a native New Yorker and currently based in Los Angeles but she recently spent six months in Atlanta as Art Director for the USA Network’s show, Satisfaction. She loved her experience working in the South and cited that the Southern hospitality was the biggest perk for her.
“The entire crew called me ma’am even though there were mostly men twice my age. Also the amount of work was the same but I was so much less stressed because the crew was so mellow,” Hanley said.
She added that the vendors she worked with to get props and items with which to design her sets were so much more accommodating and seemed genuinely appreciative that her production was in town.
“Also I loved Craft Services in Atlanta. They cook with butter and believe in gluten,” she half-joked.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that currently Atlanta has around seventy shows in production but the list is continuously changing. For daily updates, you can check back with the AJC’s TV blog.
Here is a sampling of the shows who’ve chosen to make Atlanta their home base:
- The Walking Dead—AMC
- Daytime Divas—VH1
- Swamp Murders—Investigation Discovery
- Married at First Sight: Second Chances—FYI
- Flipping Virgins—HGTV
- Family Feud—Syndicated
- Sleepy Hollow—Fox
- Chrisley Knows Best—USA
- The Real Housewives of Atlanta—Bravo
- Married to Medicine—Bravo
- Don’t Be Tardy—Bravo
- Stranger Things—Netflix
It is not just the small screen. More and more blockbuster hits are coming out of Atlanta as well. Some of the notables in that category include the Fast and the Furious franchise as well as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
As good Southerners we'd like to say to all of these production crews, Y'all come on down and stay a while, you hear?