ATLANTA — Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia was considered the number one location for filming blockbuster projects in the world.
High-grossing films at the box office like “Bad Boys for Life,” “First Man,” and several films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe like “Avengers: End Game” and “Black Panther” helped Georgia become a major destination for production over the recent years.
On Friday, Gov. Brian Kemp announced a filming “best practices” guide for Georgia that offers guidance for the state’s thriving film and television industries to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 when productions resume.
The Georgia Film Office has detailed “COVID-19: Georgia Best Practices for Film and Television,” a guide that offers preventative measures against spreading the virus in production offices, locations, and other job functions.
The guide offers safety tips for several roles within the industry from background actors, catering, craft services, casting, make-up, wardrobe, camera equipment and sound operation.
Companies may opt to use these recommendations in conjunction with industry-wide labor and management protocols as they are developed.
“We are so grateful to the hardworking people who make up and contribute to Georgia’s incredibly successful film and TV industry, and we thank them for all the ways they have given back throughout the state’s response to COVID-19,” Gov. Kemp said in a statement.
“The Georgia Film Office has maintained their close work with industry executives to develop these outlines for how productions can help protect cast and crew members. These best practices are offered as an addition to any industry-wide labor and management recommendations for protocol.”
Mega-producer Tyler Perry is the first to set a start date for productions to resume.
On July 8, Perry's BET series "Sistas" will begin production again at his studios in southwest Atlanta, according to Deadline.
Then on July 28, his other BET series "The Oval" will pick back up.
On April 27, the mogul outlined a plan that includes a COVID-19 testing protocol for all cast and crew.
Back in March, 11Alive’s Ryan J. Dennis spoke with Bert Brantley, CEO of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, during Georgia Film Day, which celebrates the economic benefits that the TV and film industry has had on the state.
During a presentation, officials highlighted the Georgia Film Academy and its impact of bringing professionals into the workforce. Georgia Film Works also revealed the launch of its website, which is dedicated to the thousands of Georgians working in the film and television production industry.
According to Brantley, more than $2 billion was spent from professionals in the production industry here in 2019.
“So, the real number that we focus on is the direct spending,” Brantley explained. "These are the dollars that production companies spend in Georgia, and that’s $2.9 billion in 2019."
"People can talk about the economic impact of what those dollars are but you can’t dispute where those dollars are spent in Georgia. They’re spent employing Georgians, catering, restaurants, hotels, really all across Atlanta, and all across Georgia,” Brantley added. "We really want to celebrate those dollars coming in the state, and turning our economy."
“We’re the number one location for blockbuster features, so those of the top 100 movies that are shot, in terms of the amount of revenue created, Georgia has more of those produced than any other place. And its because we have the "Avengers," and we have Dwayne Johnson’s “Jungle Cruise” and “Jumanji” and those great movies that are coming out,” Brantley said. "So, when you have Sony, Disney, NBC Universal-Comcast these great partners that we have shooting their blockbuster movies here - those are the ones that have great economic impact. Lots of hotels, lots of meals, transportation to set. Those are the ones that have a big impact."
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