It’s a wrap! Hollywood movie exec salutes film tax credits in Savannah

Christopher Sean Brown says tax credits offer big benefits to filmmakers like him to take the show on the road
(PR NewsChannel) / June 3, 2015 / LOS ANGELES  

HollywoodHollywood has long been the hub for movies in the United States, but one southern city has been making a strong push to be a “hot spot” for film making.

For those of you who’ve got your hearts set on working in either TV or film, Hollywood executive producer Christopher Sean Brown will tell you that Georgia would be a good bet.

“Opportunities to work in film are no longer limited to locations in California,” said Brown, whose shot feature films while on location in states such as Louisiana and Mississippi. “There are other film-friendly states and locations, especially Savannah, Ga., that can put a lot of people to work.”

Savannah, Ga. has rapidly become a new destination for movie-making resulting in an influx of productions that have increased the demand for labor.

In just the past year, the amount of movies filmed in the state of Georgia trumped those that were filmed in California. While Atlanta has thrived from the film industry boom, including handling the successful TV series “The Walking Dead,” Savannah continues to become a location of interest for movie producers.

With such a high demand for labor, there may be more jobs than can be filled. However, many people throughout the community are working on overcoming that hurdle in an effort to establish the city as a short-term filming destination that’s capable of supporting large productions.

“The idea is to avoid bringing people in from Los Angeles while filming on location in another state,” said Brown. “You want to utilize local resources and give back to the community by giving them an opportunity to be part of the bigger picture.”

Baby steps are being taken by The Savannah Filmmakers group in order to expand the cities film appeal. Efforts include working with film and TV companies to manage current productions, prepare for new ones and make sure that all the resources are available, including film technicians.

Brown is experienced in supporting large crews while on location in different states. He says that although accommodating large groups of people can be difficult, it’s what makes the process worthwhile.

“Coming to a new city and creating employment opportunities for so many people is one of the most rewarding aspects of the production process,” said Brown.

The state’s popular tax credits have been the catalyst for drawing Hollywood productions and film projects. It grants up to 30 percent of a tax credit to productions filmed in Georgia including recent projects like “The SpongeBob Movie,” “Dirty Grandpa” and “Magic Mike.”

“The purpose of tax incentives is to encourage in-state film production and attract more people to your industry,” said Brown. “This makes film and television production companies attracted to filming in your state and makes it more likely that they’ll film there in the future, increasing temporary job opportunities.”

For now, the Savannah film community is working towards training support crews that will benefit future film productions. The Savannah Economic Development Authority plans to work local schools and colleges to encourage and increase the number of qualified film technicians in the state of Georgia.

Brown says that the preparation of future film crews is an incentive in itself.

“Savannah is already becoming a new Hollywood-hub for productions,” said Brown. “An increase in trained workers will only bring a surge in future film projects, which will really put the city on the map.”

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SOURCE:  InterCoast College

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