Hot off the internets and posted on AJC.com is the news that the Henry County Commission has started the process that could turn Tara Field into production space. The initial step was a 4-1 vote in support of an agreement with Big 5 Enterprises to setup the studio. About 40 minutes from downtown Atlanta, near the Atlanta Motor Speedway, the location and possibilities sound promising. Even at this preliminary stage, this is another sign of Georgia's growing film biz. On the other hand, coming so quickly on the heels of the Lakewood and Riverwood expansion announcements, it could be too much too soon. Having not enough space to shoot is troublesome. Having sound stages sitting empty, waiting to be used, could be problematic. Especially if local entities feel they've been hoodwinked when jobs don't come fast enough or a production lull hits. Let's also not forget, with the recent economic downturn, there may already exist plenty of space, closer to downtown Atlanta, that could be converted into filming space.
The Lakewood complex won't be fully in operation till 2011, while the Tara Field space wouldn't be ready till about that time, or even later, if I'm guessing right. That gives both complexes time to woo clients and book productions. In that time Georgia can also continue building a firmer base upon which companies will anchor themselves to the state for the long haul.
It's great to hear counties getting excited about production. However, what we can't afford is for short-term vision and excitement to displace long-term planning, viability and practicality. We in the Georgia film community also need to be careful that we don't spend more time celebrating these announcements, than we do developing the infrastructure to take advantage of them.
Note: 3rd graph edited to read more clearly.