Five out of state’s 13 current movie projects in Coweta The Newnan Times-Herald By: Jeff Bishop

Moviemaking is really humming along in Georgia, and especially in Coweta County, where five out of the state’s 13 current film and TV projects are currently under way. Ken Stewart, commissioner for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, told a Coweta gathering Tuesday that film and television are an important part of Georgia’s economy, and that is more true today than ever before. Stewart addressed the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce at the monthly breakfast held at the Central Educational Center. “The TV and film industry in Georgia has grown substantially, thanks to House Bill 1100,” Stewart said. The 2008 bill amends Article 2, Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia, revising and changing the income tax credit with respect to qualified film, video, or digital productions — effectively giving production companies tax breaks for filming in Georgia. “We now have some very competitive incentives in place,” Stewart said. That’s allowed Georgia to get back into the game, regaining the position it held in the early 1990s, when Georgia was a much sought-after filming location. “At one time, Georgia was right up there with New York and California,” said Stewart. Then incentives lured film crews to places like North Carolina and Canada. Luckily, Coweta County has the infrastructure in place to capitalize on these new incentives, said Stewart. RiverWood Studios in Senoia is one prime example. “You have five different productions going on in Coweta County right now,” said Stewart, including a Woody Harreslon zombie movie and a major motion picture starring Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Robert Duvall. “Your slope is like this, right now,” he said, his hand pointing upward. “You’re seeing a substantial increase.” In film and TV, Stewart said, “it’s all about incentives.” Stewart predicted that Georgia will emerge from the current economic downturn more quickly than other areas of the country. “Georgia is well positioned to come out of this downturn faster, relative to the competition,” he said. “We’re very diversified here. We’re not all invested in one segment of the economy… We will begin steadily working our way out of this.”