ATLANTA, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), launched the state's Camera Ready Community Program today as a part of the state's ongoing efforts to bolster Georgia's growing film and television industry. The first 16 Georgia counties were designated Camera Ready at a special ceremony at one of Georgia's newest production facilities, EUE/Screen Gems Studio in Atlanta. Camera Ready is a designation put in place by the state to offer film and television production companies easier, faster and better access to local resources and information. A Camera Ready Community must designate a liaison who can assist film and television production companies on a local level.
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"More than 50 Georgia counties hosted a film and/or TV production this year, making this a banner year for the industry in our state," said GDEcD commissioner Heidi Green. "Hollywood A-listers including Robert Duvall, Katherine Heigl, Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston have all experienced our unique locations, talented crew base and world-class southern hospitality, helping make Georgia the top filming location in the south."
Bibb, Carroll, Chatham, Coweta, DeKalb, Dougherty, Emanuel, Floyd, Fulton, Hall, Houston, Lowndes, Morgan, Newton, Walker and Wilkes counties were recognized by the Georgia Department of Economic Development as the first 16 Camera Ready communities at the kickoff event.
Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Kris Bagwell, executive vice president, EUE/Screen Gems Studio; Heidi Green, GDEcD commissioner; Clara Deemer, Director of Tourism Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce; Craig Dominey, locations specialist, Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office; Lee Thomas, director (film), Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office; and Joe Genier, Film Producer.
Georgia's film and television industry is thriving with more than 348 productions shot in Georgia in FY10, with combined production budgets increasing from $647.6 million in FY09 to $744.3 million in FY10. Altogether, the industry's economic impact in the state in FY10 came in at $1.33 billion, up from $1.1 billion the previous year. Georgia is now ranked number one in the Southeast, and among the top five states in the nation for film and TV productions.
Georgia's communities offer TV and film productions a variety of unique and authentic landscapes including beautiful mountains, rural farmlands, coastal beaches and islands, swamps and marshes, scenic rivers and lakes, small towns, major metropolitan cities and more. In 2009, productions were shot in 50 counties in Georgia impacting local communities throughout the state.
To learn more about Georgia's Camera Ready Community Program please visit www.georgia.org/cameraready.
About Georgia's Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Division
The Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Division conducts extensive business development, sales, marketing and promotional activities in order to attract entertainment projects and businesses to the state. The division's team also assists the local, national and international entertainment industries with information, expertise and resources. It is a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the sales and marketing arm of the State of Georgia. For more information, please visit www.georgia.org/fmde.
SOURCE Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD)