By Lucy Doughty
|Pinewood Atlanta Studios as of October 2013.
Photo: Pinewood Atlanta Studios
In April 2013, The Pinewood Group announced plans to break ground on a brand new film, television, and music studio in Fayetteville, just fifteen miles south of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. The Pinewood Group, which manages film studios worldwide, is responsible for the James Bond franchise and numerous blockbusters; most notable recent titles include “Pacific Rim,” “World War Z,” “Captain Phillips,” and “Gravity.” Fayetteville's location will be Pinewood's first in the United States.
A campus this influential promises huge strides for the Georgia film industry, and Pinewood seems as excited about their arrival as we are. Pinewood Group's CEO, Ivan Dunleavy:
“[April 26th's] agreement is another step forward for the Pinewood brand internationally. This new studio will target US productions. Georgia has excellent fiscal incentives and a great crew base. With River's Rock we have a well-resourced partner that is committed to building a first class studio facility.”
A partnership with River's Rock LLC—a local trust run independently by Cathy family investors—will provide all funding for the project. The “fiscal incentives” are thanks to Georgia's Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which offers a 20% tax credit to companies exceeding $500,000 in Georgia production and post-production spending. If a completed project uses a state-provided promotional logo, the state grants an additional 10% credit.
The State of Georgia attributed roughly $3.1 billion in economic growth to the 333 productions filmed here in 2012, and Pinewood Atlanta will only multiply this gain. Phase I of Pinewood's Atlanta venture will contribute $10.4 million to Fayette County, and as much as $378 million annually as Phases II and III complete. The completed studio will provide as many as 3,400 jobs directly and spike employment in local hotel, restaurant, hardware, grocery, and lumber industries.
Pinewood's website boasts of Georgia's diverse settings—“from bustling city centres and small towns to beautiful parks, farmland, and mountains”—and provides a slideshow of location pictures within an hour's radius of the studio.
Pinewood Atlanta's first production will begin use of the first five stages (totaling 100,000 square feet) in January 2014.