Georgians in film industry hopeful to get back to work as writers strike tentative deal with studios
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Georgians in the film industry are hopeful to get back to the set soon after months of strikes and negotiations now that the Writers Guild of America has a tentative agreement with studios.
“In 2018, we finished a project and we were sitting in LA and were like, ‘You know what, let’s do something new.’ And Atlanta is a hot market. She’s from Albany, Georgia, I’m a Texas boy, and it was just a perfect fit for us,” said Drew Waters, an actor.
Atlanta has brought in many film industry pros like Waters and his wife, Erin Bethea, and kept them busy. That is until the writers’ strike started in May calling for higher salaries, better residuals from streaming platforms and protections against artificial intelligence.
The Screen Actors Guild went on strike for similar reasons about a month later. More than writers and actors are impacted.
Athena Studios opened in Athens during the middle of the strike.
“We’ve had a little extra time to get everything ready, so now with the strikes ending, we’re looking forward to productions coming in and getting started right away,” said Joel Harber, the CEO of Athena Studios.
The Writers Guild of America has a tentative agreement with studios, they just need formal approval. With writers close to signing a deal, industry insiders think the SAG-AFTRA will be soon to follow.
“We’re excited about the movement hopefully of the strike ending, us getting what we deserve,” said Waters.
“We’re ready to get going right away, I know the industry is ready to start working and everyone around the state has really seen the impact of this industry being down,” said Harber.
According to the Motion Picture Association, Georgia’s film and TV industry creates more than 137,000 jobs and nearly $3.82 billion in total wages.
How soon are those Georgians ready to get back on set?
“The producer and director hat in me and stuff, my trigger finger is itching to go,” said Waters.
Representatives of SAG-AFTRA congratulated WGA on their tentative deal, and they are still on strike but still want to do their own negotiations.
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