ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Savannah will be the filming location for the upcoming Disney film, The Last Song. The movie is expected to bring approximately 250 jobs to the state.
“I signed the 2008 Entertainment Industry Investment Act in support of our efforts to recruit film, music and digital entertainment projects to Georgia,” said Governor Perdue. “These industries are thriving and growing, boosting the state’s economy and employing thousands of Georgians.”
The script was written by noted author Nicholas Sparks. The production of the film will take place in Savannah and other nearby coastal locales. Julie Anne Robinson will direct The Last Song which is expected to start production in Georgia in mid-June and be completed by mid-August, 2009. Producer Dara Weintraub also produced another film in Savannah called The Clearing, which starred Robert Redford, Willem Dafoe and Helen Mirren.
Georgia’s new, more competitive incentives offer a 20 percent tax credit for qualified productions, which are then eligible for an additional 10 percent tax credit if they include an animated Georgia promotional logo within the finished product. The incentive covers more than just the film and television industries. The program also offers credits for commercials and music videos, as well as the first incentive in the nation to cover other areas of development including animation, interactive entertainment and video game development.
Nine feature films, two television series and one television pilot were produced in Georgia in the first quarter of 2009. A Sony Pictures produced television series began production in Georgia in April and three feature films are currently in production. Seven more feature films are slated for the state in the coming months.
The Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, assists local, national and international entertainment industries with expertise and resources. The staff points movie production companies to Georgia’s highly-trained crews, state-of-the-art facilities, and diverse locations. Georgia’s temperate climate and easy access afforded by Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, are also factors that attract the industry’s interest.
Since the inception of the office in 1973, more than 600 major motion pictures, independent films, television series and pilots, and TV movies have filmed on location in the state. As a result, over $5 billion dollars has been generated for the state’s economy.