Georgia's Pinewood Studio Connection Rocks California's Film Production Hopes

Georgia's Pinewood Studio Connection Rocks California's Film Production Hopes

The efforts by industry guilds to stem the steady loss of entertainment industry jobs are no longer focused primarily upon Canada’s success with luring movie and television productions.

And with those problems a new powerhouse in film production has entered the arena.

According to a recent report by Film LA, looking at 2013 productions, California lagged behind new leader Louisiana, but more trouble looms from another competing state. Ranking fifth on that list of film production revenue was Georgia, and that state’s strong effort to build its own entertainment industry is having sizable consequences.

The area became a serious destination when The Walking Dead set up production. Now Georgia raises the stakes–and the anxiety of Hollywood–with a new arrangement made with one of England’s most powerful production entities. Pinewood Studios has been the shooting home of some iconic epic productions. Tim Burton’s Batman films, The Hobbit series, as well as numerous James Bond features are just a few titles which have been made on the Pinewood lots.

One year ago it was announced that the Pinewood Group was going to make a large expansion into Georgia. Located in Fayetteville, south of Atlanta, the property boasts five sound stages, location lots, and an immense amount of workshop and office space, on nearly 300 acres of property. Pinewood alone is expected to generate jobs into the thousands, and this does not take into account the ancillary economic growth.

One example of this secondary market benefit is word that Home Depot will make a highly unique move in the area. The hardware chain will be opening up a location that will not be open to the general public as it is designed specifically to only service the new Pinewood studio.The dividends for this expansion will start paying off very soon.

Marvel Studios recently announced its newest announced title, Ant-Man (slated for a summer 2015 release) will be filmed at the new Pinewood Georgia studio lot. Numerous states across the US have aggressively used tax incentives and other economic offers to draw in productions to their regions.

These have been more than simple lures to attract a celebrity-choked production in order to have highlight photos for Chamber of Commerce brochure. Forward thinking politicians have used these incentives to establish filming infrastructure and use those success stories to expand an entertainment industry in the select states.

The flashiest example has been the Louisiana model. In a 10-year span the Pelican State has become such a vibrant location for productions that it has co-opted the nickname given to Canada for runaway productions, being dubbed as “Hollywood South.” This has not been hyperbole. The Film LA report lists 108 films in 2013 which were dubbed “major studio productions” Of those listed Louisiana came out on top for hosting the most film shoots; 18 in total, compared to fifteen films being made in each California and Canada.

Now the arrival of a new Pinewood Studios lot to rival those of the major-6 studios is a mixed blessing, depending on your proximity. This is good news from the perspective of bringing production jobs back to the US. It is bad news for Hollywood, however, as more blockbuster productions will still take place beyond Burbank.