Lee County is a Camera Ready Community

LEE COUNTY more ready than ever for film, TV productions

Often the best time to stoke the flames is when a fire is burning hot.

That‘s exactly what the State of Georgia and Lee County are doing with the state‘s Camera Ready program. Lee County joins 142 other communities across the Peach State in earning this special designation by the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office since October 2010. Being named Camera Ready means we have in place a program that provides film and television production companies with easier, faster and better access to local resources and location information.

Why is that important? The 2012 fiscal year saw record investment in the state by the entertainment industry, with more than $879.8 million in direct spending, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

As many communities have also experienced, films and television programs can drive increased tourism inspired by the success of the local production. For example, the church built as a set for the Disney project ”The Last Song” is now an event facility in Tybee Island. And the Whistle Stop Café from ”Fried Green Tomatoes” put Juliette on the map.

Producers love Georgia for our diverse settings, talented workforce and tax incentives. Since it was created in 2005, the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act has helped generate unprecedented direct investment in our state. In fact, economic impact from productions in Georgia amounted to approximately $3.1 billion. Today, we‘re one of the top five production destinations in the country.

More than 30,000 Georgians are now employed in the entertainment industry, and numbers are only expected to grow. The local economic impact from productions can be significant, including hiring of local residents, hotel stays and purchases of goods and services.

But while Georgia has done an effective job selling itself to production companies, other states have also worked hard to lure films and television programs. Camera Ready will help to ensure we can stay ahead of the competition by meeting the very specific local needs production companies have.

There are a wealth of locations, talent and assets in our community and in our state that production companies can use to everyone‘s advantage. Camera Ready is one more way we‘re making sure they do.