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Ga Film Industry Boom Brings Outside Competition.

10:57 PM, Jun 17, 2011   |    comments
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Georgia has become so successful in the film industry that Hollywood actors are moving here for the jobs that locals might normally get.

   From the "X-Men: First Class" on Jeckyll Island to "The Walking Dead" in Cobb County, Georgia deserves a star of its own on the Hollywood walk of Fame for its lead role in economic development in the film industry.

   "It hits everybody in the region," said Ken Feinberg, owner of Creative Studios of Atlanta. "Everybody gets work from it, and in these times work is good.  Film provides jobs.  History has shown that in hard times entertainment thrives."

   With a bragging wall full of success stories and pictures of students who've hit the big time, the studio is helping actors of all ages and skill levels.  Even veterans with big movie and TV credits come here to sharpen their craft.

   Georgia is now officially among the top five states in the nation for TV and motion picture production.

   Hundreds of projects have been made here in recent months.  Thanks to generous tax incentives for the film industry, state revenues from TV and film have jumped 1000-percent in the last five years to more than 2-billion dollars.

   The problem is that Georgia has become so successful in the industry that Hollywood actors are moving here for the jobs that locals might normally get.

   "L.A. actors are saying 'We'll come to Atlanta; we'll work as local talent; we'll fly ourselves here, and we'll work for scale'" said Eaddy Mays, a veteran actress, whose lists a supporting role in "The Blind Side" among her many credits. "That means we as actors have to be more competitive.  We can't look like local hires anymore."

   Just being an "extra" can bring in a few hundred extra dollars a month.  Speaking roles bring a lot more, so it might be worth investing in a few classes and learning how to navigate through the grueling audition process.

   "There are plenty of people who are younger than me or prettier than me," laughed Mays with a charming dash of understated Southern humility.  "But you won't find anyone who will be more professional than me on a set or in an audition room."

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