Pinewood Studios Breaks Ground in Atlanta
The London-based film production company and home to James Bond opens first facility in the U.S.
Would you like your sweet tea shaken or stirred? We can’t exactly hear James Bond saying that either – nevertheless the U.K.’s Pinewood Shepperton Studios brokered a joint venture agreement with a local family trust to begin the development of a production hub in Fayette County south of Atlanta. The production giant is best known as the home of the 007 franchise. Its partners, the Cathy family, are famous for chicken sandwiches and waffle fries; they own the controlling interest in the fast food chain Chick-fil-A.
Dubbed Pinewood Atlanta, the venture will develop 288 acres of land into what the partners said would be “world-class studio facilities for the production of film, television, music and video games.”
The company liked the site’s proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as well as the expansive undeveloped acreage. Additionally, Pinewood was no doubt drawn to the Fayetteville area partly because of the success of Lifetime Television’s Drop Dead Diva, which often films in nearby Peachtree City, and surely because of the state’s aggressive tax incentives.
Gov. Nathan Deal said the Pinewood Atlanta development will contribute significantly to Georgia’s growing reputation as a “top draw for movie and television productions.”
It is predicted that Pinewood Atlanta will create upwards of 3,000 jobs for the state, and construction is expected to begin immediately.
“We are thrilled that Pinewood chose Georgia to establish their first stage in the United States,” said Lee Thomas, Director of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office. “The impact a studio of this caliber will have in Georgia is huge in terms of jobs, investment and overall growth of the entertainment industry in Georgia.”
In 2012, filming in Georgia generated an estimated $3.1 billion in economic activity, marking a 30 percent increase in previously reported revenues. TV shows such as AMC's The Walking Dead film in Georgia and sequels to Anchorman: The Legend Continues and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire recently wrapped in the Peach State.
Georgia currently provides a 20 percent tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in the state, either in a single production or on multiple projects. Georgia also grants an additional 10 percent tax credit if the final project includes a state promotional logo.