Gwinnett Film is back, and happy to report, busier than ever.
As we move into late summer and fall, the Gwinnett Film Office is happy to report after an extremely challenging 2020 for our entertainment industry— film and TV is back and busier than ever. Tracking by the Georgia Film Office shows that in July 2019, 40 productions were shooting either feature films or TV shows in metro Atlanta. Fast forward to June 2021, and there are 45 productions filming, and many of them have found a home in Gwinnett County.
Metro Atlanta’s studios and stages top 45, and Gwinnett is home to two of Atlanta’s busiest, OFS Studios and Eagle Rock TV studios, as well as multiple smaller stages, like Davis Media Studios, Tyler Studios and Form Factory studios. As of July 2021, every stage in Atlanta is full, so many studios are pursuing ‘alternative’ venues to use for stage building or other production uses.
Gwinnett County closed on its purchase of Gwinnett Place Mall in spring 2021, and we are pleased to report that two major productions have found their homes there through the end of 2021.
Yellow production signs have been spotted throughout Gwinnett, including the Gas South Arena (formerly the Infinite Energy Arena), downtown Norcross, downtown Duluth, Sugar Hill, TPC Sugarloaf, the Southeastern Railway Museum, Buford, Historic Lawrenceville, Tech Park, Bunten Road Park, as well as numerous other Gwinnett locations, from south to north.
The Gwinnett Film Office is a division of Explore Gwinnett’s tourism office, and this bevy of activity is just one of the reasons we have announced a “refresh” of our organization’s name. Moving forward, our office will be changing from “Explore Gwinnett Travel + Tourism” to “Explore Gwinnett Tourism & Film.” The name change reflects a recognition not only of the increasing amount of time and focus we put on marketing Gwinnett and supporting the film/TV industry in Georgia but the positive economic impact it creates for our studios, downtowns, hotels and other local industries.
In my role as Gwinnett’s Camera Ready liaison, I serve as the primary and usually first point of contact for dozens of location managers who are looking for stages, locations and road usage. What makes my role even smoother is Gwinnett’s commitment to welcoming the industry at every level. As a result, we are hearing from multiple productions that they are choosing to film in Gwinnett specifically because of our welcoming community, our responsiveness, and our ability, desire, and willingness at both the county and city level to support the film/TV industry.
Gwinnett’s world-class education system, from high school to college, is also part of this entertainment and media evolution. Gwinnett is poised to make a significant contribution to growing the production workforce in Georgia with programs like Berkmar High School’s new Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Film + Digital Arts program. This program will allow Berkmar to not only expand its facilities but will focus on preparing students for industry certification and training. One of Georgia Gwinnett College’s new degree programs is Cinema and Media Arts production, specifically designed for the “below the line” (or on-set) positions needed for the film/TV industry workforce. Gwinnett Tech is a longtime partner of the Georgia Film Academy (GFA), a collaboration of the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. GFA was developed at the state level to meet education and workforce needs for high-demand careers in Georgia’s film and creative industries.
Our film website, www.gwinnettfilm.com is ever-growing with location options for film, TV and commercials. We utilize an industry photo locations gallery, Locations Hub, to showcase over 300 options for filming in Gwinnett. By the end of 2021, we hope to have 400+ locations included. Residents who have suggestions for potential filming locations (high-end private homes, historic residences, interesting, off the beaten path options) are encouraged to email email@example.com. Once we determine the location is film-friendly, we will schedule a photoshoot to showcase the location from shooting angles and will upload the photos to various industry databases.