Anyone who’s being paying attention at all knows that Y’allywood is the new Hollywood (seen those cryptic yellow and black signs on the roadside? That’s them). Thanks to generous tax incentives and a strong work force, 455 feature film and television shows set up production in the metro Atlanta area in 2018, bringing with them more than 92,100 jobs and nearly $4.6 billion in total wages in the state. Since 2010, more than 300 new businesses have relocated or expanded in Georgia to support the industry. Here are just five sites – all within Gwinnett County – that helped generate a total economic impact of $9.5 billion, representing $2.7 billion in direct spending in the state.
Eagle Rock studios
6205 Best Friend Road | Norcross
1375 Beverage Drive | Stone Mountain
In 2013, Eagle Rock Distributors consolidated their beer distribution operations in Stone Mountain and Dalton to a single facility in Norcross, leaving them with empty warehouse spaces. Lucky for them, Disney desperately needed space to film the ABC series Resurrection, and the Stone Mountain facility fit the bill. ABC retrofitted the warehouse to create two sound stages and proved to be an excellent tenant – causing Eagle Rock to say, “Hold my beer, I’ve got an idea. They converted 690,000-square-feet of Kraft warehouse space at the new Norcross location to house four 30,000-square-foot sound stages, thus creating the largest television production studio under one roof in the US. Eagle Rock has since been home to celebrity ensemble film Mother’s Day, Netflix’s Ozark, and the CBS MacGyver reboot.
OFS/Atlanta Media Campus
2000 Northeast Expressway Norcross
Atlanta Media Campus strives to become a one-stop-shop for filming in Georgia, helping co-producers and creators to leverage the Tax Credits for Film and Game Development. Designed around the concept of one-place production, the site strives to bring all of the services and resources needed to one location. The site currently features 2.2 million square feet of space being developed to over 5.5 million square feet in the next five to ten years. The facility is currently home to multiple large-scale customizable indoor and outdoor spaces and a HUGE outdoor blue screen film stage, utilized for the famous car chase scenes in the Fast & Furious franchise and scenes from Marvel movies and The Hunger Games franchise.
9135 Willeo Road | Roswell
Gwinnett’s county seat has served as a film location for multiple productions, thanks to the historic Gwinnett Courthouse and quaint square (perfect for Fox’s Sleepy Hollow series). Currently, roads are being shut down at night and citizens might be wondering if there’s been an invasion, thanks to the arrival of DC Comics’ Doom Patrol (production code: GRANT) series, starring Brendan Fraser, Alan Tudyk and Timothy Dalton. The show will run on DC Universe, a new streaming service specializing in DC content.
Gwinnett Place Mall
2100 Pleasant Hill Road | Duluth
Yes, the hottest place to get all of your raddest late 80s and 90s fashions and to see-and-be-seen at the Orange Julius is still rocking and rolling – in a slightly different fashion. While many complained that the look and offerings of the once must-shop mall hadn’t changed since its heyday, others saw its – let’s say, vintage feel – as a perk. Netflix hit Stranger Things – set in the mid-80s – found it absolutely perfect, transforming Gwinnett Place into the brand new Starcourt Mall in Hawkins, Indiana for its third season. Production re-created storefronts for such 1980s staples as Waldenbooks, Time-Out arcade, Wicks ‘N Sticks, a jazzercise studio, and a sign announcing the arrival of Spencer’s Gifts. A glance at the movie posters outside of the cinema reveal show times for Fletch and Cocoon and upcoming features Back to the Future and Day of the Dead.
Suwanee town center
330 Town Center Avenue | Suwanee
Speaking of the 80s, primetime soap opera Dynasty (production code: CROSS EYE) is back, and calling the City of Suwanee home. Now filing its second season, CBS’ reboot of the hair-pulling, champagne-throwing classic has turned Suwanee City Hall into both Atlanta City Hall and the FBI building, transformed a downtown hair salon into an art gallery, hosted a shopping Nicollete Sheridan as Alexis Carrington, and decked out Town Center Park for Christmas in September. Suwanee is also a favorite of reality shows The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Chrisley Knows Best. Suwanee Wine Fest even attracted Trina and Towanda Braxton and the crew of Braxton Family Values. The sisters when on a helicopter ride of Suwanee during the festival, prompting Trina to declare, “I could be the mayor of Suwanee,” (cue Towanda giving filthy side eye).