Hollywood, Georgia


Zachary Breder, Writer

Georgia is taking the spotlight as the new destination to film movies and TV shows. Studios like Trilith, Tyler Perry, Atlanta Metro, and Blackhall are some of the many studios that call Georgia home. But why though? Georgia first became a film hub in 2008 when the main attraction was the tax benefits. Before 2008, Georgia was making about $241 million per year in the film industry. In 2017, Georgia made $9.5 billion in the film industry. Another incentive is that Georgia can play any part. Georgia has everything ranging from large farms to small towns to big city. Georgia has been portrayed as New York, L.A., and even Paris. Georgia also has a relatively mild climate, making filming possible year-round. Georgia’s film industry started off small. But as more and more films and TV shows were made, filmmakers began to realize Georgia’s hidden beauty. So, they set up shop. Studios flooded in, building their headquarters in Georgia. 391 film and television productions shot in Georgia last year alone. Business is booming, and Atlanta is at the center of it. Because of this, Georgia earned the title “Hollywood of the south”. I have even had the opportunity to work with Trilith studios in Atlanta on my own project. I can say firsthand that Atlanta has a thriving movie and television community. Filming doesn’t just happen in Atlanta though, places all over Georgia get to experience some movie magic. Our very own town of Cartersville, Georgia has experienced its fair share of movies. One of the coolest being Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which was shot in downtown Cartersville. The city of Cartersville continues to be a wonderful asset for movies and TV shows. It is now being used again, this time to film an action-packed TV show. CW’s Powerpuff Girls live action reboot has filmed downtown lately. The show stars Dove Cameron as Bubbles, Chloe Bennet as Blossom, and Yana Perrault as Buttercup. The cast and crew set up shop downtown the week of April 14th and finished on April 21st. I had the opportunity to go to the set on their last day, April 21st. I also had the opportunity to interview the location manager, the wonderful Maida Morgan. I asked her about why she chose Cartersville to become Townsville (the town in the show). She explained that the production office for the show is located in North Georgia. She said that she did a search for small towns within a 30-mile radius of the production office. After looking through the pictures, she decided to scout the location. She came to Cartersville to make sure that it was a good match. And it was. Not long after, downtown Cartersville became downtown Townsville. She said that Cartersville was a “perfect match” and that it will “fit the script perfectly.” CW’s Powerpuff Girls was filming its pilot episode in Cartersville. The show has not been approved for a full season. But if it is, Maida Morgan and the rest of the Powerpuff Girls cast, and crew could be “back for more”. Residents of Cartersville are anxious to see their historic downtown on the big screen once again. Interviewing Ms. Morgan was a pleasure, and she wasn’t the only location manager that I have spoken with. I also had the chance to interview Corey Gilbert, who is a mutual friend of both me and Ms. Morgan. Corey Gilbert is working on my project at Trilith Studios. He works primarily on Marvel/ Disney + projects. Some of his credits include (but are not limited to): Wandavision, Black Widow, Loki, and Stranger Things. Although I got to interview Ms. Morgan in person, Corey’s interview was over the phone. In the interview, I asked him about why the film industry chose Georgia. He said “The thing that Georgia has to offer that a lot of other states don’t have to offer, in regards to my job, is I can find literally anything they need… Not just for Marvel productions, but other productions that I’ve done.” “You name it, we can find it here. Atlanta and the state of Georgia, it’s a playground.” Says Corey. So, the film industry came to Georgia and stayed. In order to continue the film industry in Georgia, the next generation of filmmakers will need to be raised. This is precisely the job of Dan Kelly, a teacher at the Georgia Film Academy. I had the chance to interview him as well. “I do think it’s a really good time to be in Georgia, there’s a lot of really cool things that are happening.” says Dan. He talks about all of the educational opportunities that come with Georgia’s film industry. “If you wanted to make movies, you should work on other people’s movies in below the line positions” says Dan. He says to start out small and work your way up, learning along the way. Georgia has made itself a hub for movies and TV shows of all kinds. Georgia’s many different settings make it perfect for films. And thanks to people like Corey Gilbert and Maida Morgan, Georgia’s many different settings can be put to use. Because of this, Georgia has made itself a one of the number one places for many different kinds of TV shows and movies. And thanks to people like Dan Kelly, Georgia’s film industry is here to stay. Georgia will continue to serve as an amazing space for creatives of all kinds to produce their projects. Because of this, Georgia’s film industry will continue to grow and thrive.