Covington expands studio, seeks to reclaim "Hollywood of the South"

8:20 PM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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COVINGTON, Ga. -- In recent years, Georgia has successfully competed with Hollywood for moviemaking projects. Now with some recently announced studio expansions, it's clear that Georgia moviemakers are starting to compete with each other.

RELATED:  Big new studio to locate in Fayette Co.

Triple Horse studios is the latest to up its moviemaking game. Its Newton County facility has been making TV and movies for more than a decade. Now it's planning to build five new sound stages here -- to fill a void in Georgia.

"We've got some of the best tax incentives in the nation, yet we don't have the (indoor) facilities to allow these mega movies to come to us," said Karl Horstmann, CEO of Triple Horse.

Triple Horse's expansion will make it competitive with the huge new studio announced in February in Fayette County -- as well as an expected expansion of Tyler Perry's studio.

It's all part of a TV and moviemaking boom that put movies like Flight in Georgia -- and makes hit shows like The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries a part of the state's landscape.

The Vampire Diaries created a cottage industry in Covington, where fans can go on tours to visit locations made familiar in the series.

With its new studio space, Triple Horse's CEO has an eye on The Walking Dead, now shot southwest of Atlanta in Senoia.

"It is not only our intention to woo projects like that but we're hoping to woo them at some point," said Horstmann. "I guess that's competition. I guess that's good old American capitalism," he laughed.

Others played down the talk of competition, saying there's plenty of work to spread around. "It's a three billion dollar industry in the state of Georgia last year," said Hunter Hall, director of the Covington - Newton Chamber of Commerce. "We don't feel like we're competing" with the other Georgia studios.

Before tax incentives spread a moviemaking boom across Georgia, Covington called itself the Hollywood of the South. Its boosters aim to reclaim that title, and make its predominant studio a go-to for TV and moviemakers drawn to Georgia.

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