Last year a Georgia panel of industry experts discussed the impact of filming on tourism. (full article below)
We agree that tourism is a huge byproduct of filming. Moving the needle on a billion dollar industry even a little bit can be a great investment.
We especially agree with the points made by the panelists (below).
Conclusion: Communities need to make it easy to film with them. Bring the tools and attitude to the table to work with filmmakers 24x7, with programs and policies that are designed for the film industry.
(That's also the idea behind FLIPSFilm.com - our story about how communities are using FLIPSFilm.com to make them more competitive is on slideshare at http://slidesha.re/1ePvMoX)
Scott Tigchelaar, Tyrone Rachal, Lee Thomas and Jason Underwood were on the panel.
Tigchelaar is president of Senoia Enterprises. Rachal is managing director for redevelopment with Invest Atlanta, and Thomas is division director for the state’s film, music and digital entertainment office. Underwood is a location scout for Tyler Perry Studios.
- The relationship those scouts have with city and county officials is often “the most important thing in finding the right space,” Underwood said. “Having a good relationship with them helps drive us.”
- Georgia has “a lot of unique little towns, unique little features,” Tigchelaar said. “Getting those in front of location scouts is important — letting them know that’s available.”
- Tigchelaar urged community leaders to act as a concierge — to make sure filming crews have a pleasant and productive experience, the kind that will make them want to return.
- “Make it easy for them to be there."
- Film companies often are “spending a quarter million dollars a day,” Tigchelaar said. “If you want the business, roll out the red carpet.”
- She said the economic impact from film projects is complex. The tourism that follows a film or TV project “a lot of times... is bigger” financially than the money that comes from the TV show or movie.
- Thomas noted “The Dukes of Hazzard” filmed five episodes in Newton County in 1989. For the next 30 years, “Dukes” was the county’s biggest tourism draw. Tourists coming to Georgia communities can have “a huge impact,” Thomas said.
- Tigchelaar urged those at the outlook conference to remain focused on the economic impact from film and to avoid overburdening film companies with paperwork and fees.
- It’s about getting out of the way and making sure government is doing the things government needs to do,” he said. Wainscott also said it is important for there to be “one point of contact” in an area for film company officials to contact.
- Rachel also said it is vital for governments to “let the private sector do what they do best” and then work in partnership. “These are catalytic investments that if done in the right way have positive economic impacts and positive community impacts,” he said.