In preparation for CREW Atlanta’s November 12 luncheon and panel discussion, “Lights, Camera, Action: The Battle for #3,” we asked panelist Kris Bagwell how Georgia is attracting film and television production and what the state is doing to nurture this growing economic driver. Bagwell is executive vice president of EUE/Screen Gems Studios and chairman of Georgia Studio & Infrastructure Alliance (GSIA).
Q: Your company has offices in Miami; Wilmington, NC; Atlanta; Los Angeles; and New York. What is distinctive about the film industry here?
A: Georgia is one flight from pretty much anywhere on Earth, has a very pro-business environment and a simple, easy to use tax credit.
Q: You promote the 30% tax credit extensively on your company’s website. How important is the tax credit to Georgia’s film industry?
A: It’s critical. Without it we’d have some business, but we wouldn’t have the critical mass to keep the great crew base, buzz and physical investment in infrastructure that we now have.
Q: Do you see any potential barriers to growth of the film industry in Atlanta/Georgia? Are we adequately addressing those roadblocks; what should we be doing?
A: I worry about transportation and congestion, particularly the lack of any real resolve to address it. I guess we’re lucky that the producers are mostly from LA, as it’s one of the only places that’s worse for traffic. We also are very focused on crew training so that Georgia has the workers that the business needs.
Q: What are your company’s plans for Georgia/Atlanta? Do you plan to grow your business here? Any exciting new developments on the horizon?
A: We are always looking at new opportunities and at maximizing what we have at Lakewood. I wouldn’t trade locations with anyone – when you shoot with us, you’re really in Atlanta, and everything is so close.
Kris Bagwell is executive vice president of EUE/Screen Gems Studios and chairman of Georgia Studio & Infrastructure Alliance (GSIA). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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