Lights, camera, action … Alpharetta! - North Atlanta Business Post
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Updated Nov 14 @ 1:05PM

Lights, camera, action … Alpharetta!

Tax incentives spur film activity


ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Georgia has become increasingly attractive to filmmakers seeking refuge from California’s high tax penalties – and the take for the state is measured in the billions of dollars.

Over the past nine years, generous tax incentives to filmmakers have increased the economic impact of Georgia’s film industry from $244 million to more than $7 billion in 2016.

Alpharetta has been quick to capitalize on the potential of Georgia’s entertainment industry. Five years ago, Alpharetta requested and received the “Camera Ready” designation from the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office making it easier to draw film and TV production to the area.

The Camera Ready program connects film and TV productions with skilled liaisons in counties across the state who can provide local expertise and support.

This makes it much easier for local location scouts to find potential filming sites because the program keeps hundreds of photos on file for quick assessment.

These photos include private homes and private property – all submitted by the owners – for consideration when scouting movie locations.

It’s a win-win for both the property owners and the city overall, say city officials.

“The local economic impact from film productions can be significant, including hiring of local residents, hotel stays and purchases of goods and services,” said Layne Mitchell, director of communications for the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Since receiving the Camera Ready designation, Alpharetta has played host to a number of films, including “The Good Lie” (2014) and “The Vault” (2016).

“The Joneses” with Demi Moore and David Duchovny was filmed in 2009 using The Manor subdivision for many exterior and interior scenes.

Other big name stars who have filmed scenes in Alpharetta include Reese Witherspoon, Billy Crystal and Ryan Reynolds.

Since the start of 2017 Bethany Usry, Vice President, Economic and Talent Development for the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, has handled 15 requests for specific film locations. This marks a sharp increase since 2008, when only one production was filmed in the North Fulton area.

Recently the film “The Trap” has been scouting areas in Alpharetta, looking for diners and restaurant locations for the movie which stars rapper T.I.

Mitchell said Alpharetta is continuously building a network of local residents with knowledge of Alpharetta history, businesses and attractions to help assist filmmakers.

“If you know of an Alpharetta property that could be considered as a film location, please contact us, so we can provide specific photos and information based on Camera Ready guidelines,” Mitchell said.

This can be done using Alpharetta’s website at

The film boom in Georgia began in 2005 when the state offered a $270,000 tax rebate to a film company for every $1 million the company spent in the state.

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