- Georgia grossed over $4 billion in just one year due to the growing film industry in the state.
- In 2007, only 1 TV show was being filmed. Only 6 years later, 142 movies and TV shows were filmed throughout the state.
- Athens, GA has been home to top movies such as “The Spectacular Now” and “Trouble with The Curve”.
ATHENS, GA- The jobless rate in Georgia is down, and businesses are growing. One of those is the movie business. The film industry has made its way down to Georgia and brought money with it. Reporter Kailyn Thomas got in on the lights, camera, and action.
Georgia grossed over $4 billion in just one year due to the growing film industry in the state. Since 2006, Georgians from have earned more than $1.3 billion in wages. But not everyone in the movie biz is focused on the money.
Jermaine King is an Athens local who works as the supervisor for the media desk at the main library on UGA’s campus. But in his free time, he likes to get his feet wet in the film business as an extra. Before filming a part in one television show, he was willing to forgo pay just for a chance to get in on the action.
King says, “Upfront they said ‘We can’t pay you but we’ll feed you.’ And I was like “Okay that’s fine, I don’t need money.'”
King has had small parts in many films in the past 10 years, and has had more opportunities recently. In 2007, only 1 TV show was being filmed. Only 6 years later, 142 movies and TV shows were filmed throughout the state.
Lee Thomas, the Director of Film and Television for Georgia is glad to see the change in numbers. She says, “It’s tremendous growth, it’s one of the fastest-growing industries I think, in Georgia.”
With that growth, more big-name pictures have come to the Athens area. King even got the chance to be in a Clint Eastwood movie (“Trouble with the Curve”) just last year. And while the work days are long, he wouldn’t give it up.
He explains, “I can’t explain what attracts me to it, it’s just exciting to be around the movie process.”
Thomas says moving forward, it’s important to train enough people to fill positions so the film industry can continue to grow.
Some Athens-filmed movies coming to theaters soon include “Million Dollar Arm” starring Jon Hamm, and “Blended” with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.
If you’re looking to be an extra and get in on the movie business, you can “like” the page “Extras Casting Atlanta” on Facebook. If you are wanting to be an extra, may the odds be ever in your favor.
Reporting done by Jessica Fritz and Kailyn Thomas.