Georgia film incentives hit sweet note for The Last Song

Movies filmed in Georgia thanks to aggressive tax credit program to flood theaters in next few months.

(Vocus/PRWEB ) April 2, 2010 — At least five high-profile productions filmed in Georgia are slated to hit movie theaters in the next few months, including Why Did I Get Married Too?, Get Low, Five Killers and Due Date. The Last Song, a Miley Cyrus vehicle, opened March 31. In addition, The Blind Side and The Crazies, both still in theaters, were filmed in Georgia and have grossed a combined total of more than $292 million at the box office.

In fact, entertainment productions in Georgia have increased 400 percent since the state introduced an aggressive tax credit package in 2008. More than 100 feature films, television series, specials and pilots have been produced in Georgia since then, helping catapult the state into the top five in the nation for film and TV production in 2009, and landing it in the top spot in the Southeast.

“Our ability to provide a variety of astounding locations, a highly-skilled workforce, significant infrastructure and cutting-edge tax incentives makes Georgia an extremely desirable place to film,” said Bill Thompson, deputy commissioner of the Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Georgia offers everything production companies are looking for, which has enabled us to attract projects ranging from TV series like Vampire Diaries and Drop Dead Diva to feature films such as The Blind Side, Zombieland and The Joneses. We’re excited about the opening of The Last Song and look forward to a successful run of all of these Georgia-made movies.”

The Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act provides an income tax credit of 20 percent to qualified productions, and an additional 10 percent tax credit to productions that embed a Georgia promotional logo in the titles or credits, or as product placement within the content of the production. The tax credits may be awarded to not only traditional feature films, television series, commercials and music videos, but also to innovative new industries such as video game development and animation. Since Georgia increased its competitiveness in mid-2008, the program has generated more than $950 million dollars in direct investment, yielding an overall economic impact of over $1.6 billion to the state.

Filmed on Tybee Island and at the Georgia Aquarium, The Last Song is a coming-of-age drama film written by Nicholas Sparks and starring Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear, Kelly Preston and Liam Hemsworth. Miley Cyrus plays the role of Veronica “Ronnie” Miller, a rebellious seventeen-year-old forced to spend the summer with her estranged father in Tybee Island, where she finds love and manages to reconnect with her father again through their love for music.

“We’ve had a very positive experience with The Last Song filming on Tybee Island,” said Lindsay Fruchtl, marketing coordinator of the Tybee Island Tourism Council. “The Georgia Department of Economic Development has been very supportive and helpful along the way and we welcome production companies to film on Tybee Island. The Georgia coast in general has such a unique ecosystem and what makes Tybee Island so special is that we’ve got five miles of beach to work with and our close proximity to the Savannah area.”

Written and directed by Tyler Perry, Why Did I Get Married Too? is a comedy-drama film about four close couples gathering in the Bahamas for an annual one-week reunion. Their week in paradise comes to a halt when they are disrupted by an unexpected guest, with life-altering consequences. Stars include Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson and Tasha Smith. The film will be released Friday, April 2. Tyler Perry Studios is located in Atlanta, Ga. Perry has filmed all his movies in Georgia, as well as his TV shows Meet the Browns and House of Payne.

Scheduled for release this summer are Killers and Get Low. Killers, starring Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl and Tom Selleck, was filmed in Atlanta, Douglasville, Buford and at Riverwood Studios in Senoia. Heigl’s character, Jennifer Kornfeldt, falls in love and rushes into marriage with Spencer Aimes, played by Kutcher. The two enjoy a picture-perfect marriage until they find out they are targets of a multi-million dollar hit job in the action comedy film.

Get Low is an American folktale and real-life legend about the mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own funeral party. The cast includes Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, Lucas Black and Bill Cobb. The film was shot in locations in Georgia that have changed little over the generations, including the small town of Crawfordville, the Gaither Plantation in Covington, a beautiful old church near Sparta, and Pickett’s Mill Battlefield near Dallas, Ga.

Coming to the big screen in November of this year is Due Date, a comedy film starring Robert Downey, Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan and Jamie Foxx. Downey plays a highly-strung, father who finds himself on a cross-country road trip with an aspiring actor. The film was shot at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Hampton and Gainesville.

More than 700 film and television productions have been shot in Georgia since 1972, including Driving Miss Daisy, Sweet Home Alabama, My Cousin Vinny (check spelling Vinny or Vinney?), Forrest Gump, Fireproof, We Are Marshall, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, the Emmy Award-winning HBO film Warm Springs, In the Heat of the Night and The Dukes of Hazzard. These projects have generated $5 billion dollars in economic impact over the last 38 years. Entertainment fans can expect to see more Georgia scenery and actors on movie and TV screens as the state’s aggressive entertainment incentives, ability to provide a variety of settings, temperate weather, and excellence in customer service attract the world’s top productions.

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