Hunger Games' fans, Panem is real. Or at least, parts of it are. President Snow's mansion, District 12 and even the arena for the 75th Hunger Games can all be found in and around Georgia — the state known for its peaches and now an increasingly booming film industry.
In 2001, four movies were made in Georgia; in 2013, that number shot up to 142. This upswing didn't happen by accident. Thanks to a 20% tax credit for productions spending over $500,000 in state, Georgia is quickly becoming its own little Hollywood — a good shake up for the status quo. In total, Georgia's film industry generated an estimated $3.3 billion in economic activity in 2013, a figure that puts it firmly on the map as a film location destination.
High-profile films shot in Georgia over the last two years include Fast & Furious 7, Dumb and Dumber To, 42 and The Internship — which used the Georgia Institute of Technology as a stand in for Google's campus.
Wander over to the south side of Atlanta and you'll find the site of the Hunger Games Quarter Quell — which in real life was home to the 1996 Olympics volleyball tournament. Head over to Turner Field where Clint Eastwood shot Trouble With the Curve. Or walk through downtown Atlanta which was used for high-speed chases in The Fast and the Furious, while the small town of Senoia was the backdrop for AMC's zombie-filled series The Walking Dead.Georgia landmarks are quickly becoming Hollywood mainstays.
Atlanta's doing so well as a city-double that it can even pass itself off as Los Angeles. Recent scenes from Liam Neeson's Taken 3 were set in L.A. but shot in Georgia's capital.
So what kind of threat does Georgia present Los Angeles? In a nutshell: No industry is immune from disruption, and Georgia has more going for it than a discount. It would be a challenge to unseat the Hollywood throne, but it wouldn't be impossible.
While the bigger studios are currently found in the Hollywood area, it isn't staying that way for long. Two years ago, the Jacoby Group announced the Atlanta Media Campus & Studios, which will become the largest studio backlot in the country after its completion. The Media Campus will also serve as a film school complete with student housing on-campus. Four days ago, the announcement of Moon River Studios, also set to be located in Georgia, beat out the Media Campus as the largest film & television studio project in America.
While the two upcoming projects are very promising for the future of the industry in Georgia, they are only glances into the not-so-distant future for now. That is far from all the state has when it comes to studios. Pinewood Studios Atlanta is preparing for its very first film to be released in theaters, after finishing post production a few weeks ago. What film you ask? Marvel Studios' Ant-Man. Pinewood, the studio behind The Hobbit series, the James Bond films, the upcoming Star Wars Trilogy, and countless more films, built their first and only North American studio in the Atlanta area. This studio is currently working on Captain America: Civil War and will also be behind Guardians of the Galaxy 2 during its production next year.
On top of this, Turner Broadcasting calls Atlanta home. Turner broadcasting is running some of TV animation's biggest channels, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Boomerang, along with CNN, TNT, TruTV, and HLN. Because of this, animation and TV has quite the hub in the state as well.