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New Georgia program attempts to attract filmmakers

clock tower in Georgia city hoping to be site of Hollywood film

(March 22, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, March 22, 2011

WASHINGTON, Ga.---David Jenkins is a bit of a celebrity around town in Washington.

"I don't like to think so, but it was fun. It was fun to learn," he said.

He was an extra in an award-winning independent film shot in Wilkes County. He laughs at his role in the film.

"I was a minister helping to rebury the zombies," he said.

But Jenkins is also the liaison for a relatively new program in Georgia that aims at bringing movie and television productions here. It's called Georgia Camera Ready, and 73 Georgia counties have already qualified, including rural Wilkes County.

"It's our responsibility to be ready, and that's part of the effort is to get as many locations as we can in the state's database," he said.

As the liaison for Wilkes County, Jenkins has to advertise potential film locations to producers and directors around the world, but the locations on the Camera Ready website don't have to be too spectacular.

"The state has moved forward so that if a private sector individual would like to list their home as a potential film site they can do so," he told News 12.

Philip Rothman lives in Wilkes County, and he could benefit too. He owns the historic Holly Court Inn in Washington, where they've already shot one independent film.

"We benefited financially from their using the inn as a principle set site," he said.

He believes Camera Ready will help other communities benefit as well.

"Most people in the industry, you know, they're savvy enough to look for those opportunities," he said.

Jenkins also tells News 12 the tax credits Georgia offers to filmmakers is another big reason they choose the state over others. But, because of an overhaul of the state tax code, those tax exemptions for the entertainment industry could be gone soon.


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