Let’s face it, Atlanta is the place to film your next show or movie. Between the financial incentives, the versatility of the city, the weather, and the relatively relaxed filming rules, it’s not hard to see why so many directors take their projects to The Big Peach.
From The Oprah Winfrey Show to Deliverance, from Black Panther to Stranger Things, Atlanta has a long history of being the home of so many classic cinematic settings. Let’s dive into some of the reasons why you should shoot your next film in Atlanta.
Photo Credit: Joey Kyber on Unsplash
Photo Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/45FJgZMXCK8
Alt Text: A highway shot of Atlanta at sunrise.
Filming in Atlanta: tax credit and other financial incentives
How does a 30% tax credit sound on the making of your film? Upon acceptance into the Film Tax Incentive Program, production will receive a 20% base transferable tax credit.
Then, if you imprint the Georgia logo and link the Explore Georgia website to the project, you get an additional 10% tax credit. Thirty percent adds up real quick when budgeting for a movie. This also incentivizes the film crew to spend money at local restaurants, shops, and other organizations, which will help build and fund the local community.
More money to the hardworking businesses of Atlanta, more money in your pocket, and the heartwarming feeling that you supported the local economy — this tax credit is a win for everyone. (Note: these incentives only apply to production companies and eligible projects.)
A director couldn’t ask for a better climate. It rarely gets below 21 degrees in winter, which means it’s cold enough for snow, but warm enough that you won’t have to halt production. When it’s warm, it never really breaks the mid-90s.
This city makes a great setting for your post-apocalyptic Ice Age movie or your hot summer romance flick. It rains, but not a ton. It snows, but not a ton. If you need it to look like summertime but you’re shooting in winter, Atlanta’s got the foliage. Climate-wise, you can’t really beat The Big Peach.
Photo Credit: Joe Mannarino on Unsplash
Photo Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/dDkES51pEPo
Alt Text: Man crossing a city street in daytime with a backpack and a camera.
Atlanta and the surrounding area can become anywhere you want it to be. In the past, downtown ATL has been shot as New York City, Chicago, Vegas, and New Orleans, just to name a few!
If you need gargantuan buildings for your giant ape to climb, Atlanta has them. If you need dark alleys for your superhero to appear and stop the bad guy, Atlanta has them.
But what if you aren’t filming in a city? What if you need rural countryside? Well, you’re also in luck there. Within an hour’s drive of Atlanta, you’ll find tons of rural towns that should fit your needs perfectly. You’ll find hundreds of small towns in the surrounding area to create that classic Southern country vibe.
Need a mountain range? The foothills of the Appalachian Trail are just up the road. When it comes to choosing a film shoot location in Atlanta, you have a wide variety of options.
One of the harder parts about filming a movie is finding all the necessary resources. The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office maintains a comprehensive list of organizations, services, and crew members called the Reel-Crew Production Directory. The office also provides information on extended stay accommodations and corporate housing.
Atlanta wants you to film here. The city and state filmmaking authorities will make it as easy as possible by offering you every resource, tax break, and setting you could possibly need. And if they can’t, they’ll show you where to find it. Atlanta also works hand-in-hand with Savannah, which is another prime location for filming.
Limited need for permits
If you are filming on private property, besides the property owner’s permission, you don’t need any other permit. If your filming includes public spaces, that is a different story.
Any shots that feature buildings, streets, or parks will need a permit from the city’s Office of Entertainment. Certain activities, like using a stage or setting up a barricade, also require a permit.
Atlanta strives to be the premier location for show and film shooting in America, so they want to make it as easy for you (and the public) as possible. The state of Georgia has Camera Ready Liaisons that will help answer any questions relating to rules or regulations on filming in a specific area. And a lot of locations are already camera-ready! Just show up and shoot.
Photo Credit: Gordon Cowie on Unsplash
Photo Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/JbcOtH0W6UQ
Alt Text: Cameraman and director film an indoor shot.
Shooting your next film in Atlanta
As was mentioned earlier in this blog post, Atlanta is quickly becoming the ultimate filming location for blockbuster movies in America. From Marvel Cinematic Universe to Christmas on the Square, this city is one of the most versatile, project-friendly locations around.
With the enormous tax credits and other financial incentives, you’ll be saving tons of money right from the get-go. After all, who doesn’t like to save a bit of money?
If you’re looking for film locations, you can’t go wrong with Atlanta. Start hunting for a film venue today and get your camera rolling!