Gov. Brian Kemp visited the film production sites in Atlanta on Wednesday to demonstrate his support for an industry involved in the legislation because of his decision to sign Georgia's "heartbeat" campaign against abortion. However, the damage could only be at the beginning.
Several Hollywood figures announced this week that they produce television and film productions that were originally scheduled to be shot here. And more actors, directors, and producers announced that they would not do business in Georgia when the severe new restrictions came into effect.
The setback was proved not only by celebrity celebrities who expressed their contempt for the law on social media, but also by projects that are quieting down. Kris Bagwell, who runs the EUE Screen Gems in Atlanta, said he recently lost a Netflix movie that would have brought 300 jobs.
"The passing of this law threatens to destroy a significant portion of 11 years of goodwill between Georgia and the US national film and television production industry," said Bagwell, who also heads the Georgia Studio and Infrastructure Alliance. "Is not the first rule for job creation" Do not you shoot jobs already created? It was postponed last week talking about protests and no-shows.
Instead, he privately toured through the state-funded Georgia Film Academy and a nearby studio. Hours later, his office issued a statement announcing the benefits of a sector that "opens economic opportunities in every corner of our big state."
The pressure on the industry has increased after Kemp signed bill 481 earlier this month, a ceremony surrounded by anti-abortion advocates. The changes that would prohibit most abortions after just six weeks will take effect in January, but face some legal challenge. "But he took a more confrontational tone over the weekend, when he mocked Hollywood figures who vowed to boycott Georgia over the law.
"We are the party of freedom and opportunity," said Kemp at the Georgia GOP Convention in Savannah. "We value and protect innocent lives – even though this makes the C-list of celebrities cries."
"Stay and Fight"
Georgia film promoters fear that the rebound would be the state's third largest state could endanger film and TV productions – just behind California and New York. In 2008, the state passed a generous bill allowing film companies to earn tax credits for up to 30 percent of their spend.
In financial year 2018, Georgia hosted 455 qualified film and television shows with direct expenditures of $ 2.7 billion. While other states cut their tax credits, Georgia is unlimited. As a result, last year the state granted more tax credits than any other state by far: $ 800 million.
The appeal of these incentives has prompted the studios to invest in an infrastructure network throughout the Atlanta metro, including lighting stages, sprawling sets, and edit boxes. The state has also launched a film academy that trains hundreds of students to work in areas such as lighting, post-production and editing.
With every big name that sways Georgia, however, the industry is fluctuating. Alec Baldwin, Tracee Ellis Ross, Ben Stiller and Gabrielle Union recently joined a long list of celebrities threatening to boycott the measure. Some producers have promised never to work in Georgia again.
And two Hollywood characters hit the headlines in the US when they said they would pull projects out of Georgia.
Director Reed Morano dismissed plans to shoot her new Amazon Studios show "The Power" in Savannah because she told Time Magazine there was "no way to ever bring our money by shooting in that state". And Kristen Wiig said her upcoming Lionsgate comedy is no longer being shot in Georgia for the same reason.
Georgia Film Booster, suddenly on the defensive, underscores the decisions of several celebrities, including JJ Abrams, Ron Howard and Jordan Peele, to stay in Georgia, but donate fees to opponents of the law.
And a "Stay and Fight" movement has caused celebrities to think twice about their boycott threats, and warns that leaving Georgia will destroy tens of thousands of people serving as crew members, catering staff or in others Supporting roles work for the expensive productions that are filmed in the state.
"It's so crazy. I do not understand why people believe that uprooting an industry where tens of thousands of people are employed may help women in Georgia, "said MEP Teri Anulewicz, a Smyrna Democrat defying the law.
"They are unbelievable It is well meant to be interested in this fight, but these are men and women who work so hard," she said. "This is their livelihood, and we can not ignore closing a whole industry."
Celebrities on the C-list
Some industry officials hope that the upcoming litigation and the passing of stricter restrictions on Alabama will attract Georgia's attention. Also, it is unlikely that existing shows, which have been filmed here for years, will immediately leave the state.
Including actress and producer Alyssa Milano, who has pledged to boycott Georgia on several occasions over the "heartbeat" law – but is now filming her Netflix project "Insatiable" at Metro Atlanta because she's contracted to do so.
"In recent weeks we have opened many new shows," said Bob Lucas, owner of Central Atlanta Props & Sets at East Point, adding that he has not seen a slowdown in his own store yet.
Nevertheless, some local filmmakers fear that the reputational damage to the state is immeasurable – and could survive the lawsuit.
"Kemp was rightly skeptical in the industry right from the beginning," said Rhonda Baraka, a local screenwriter who shot an Atlanta-produced film that will debut on Lifetime in June.
"The bill – and the mentality behind it – casts our condition in a negative light. It sends a message about us that does not exactly show who we are, "said Baraka. "Even if this bill is scuttled, people will probably not forget it so soon."
Ask Kemp about the episodes, and he'll say he's not worried about "what anyone in Hollywood thinks of me" Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week that he's not impressed by the backlash of his recent comment on the "C-list".
"I'm sure people will protest. The people protested during the meeting.
Many of these people are the same people who worked against me in the elections. They said the same thing after I was sworn in. Now they say the same thing after I did what I promised the Georgians, Kemp said. "I know they are mad at me for doing what I said, but I think most Georgians appreciate that."
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