When novice directors dream of making it big in Hollywood, they typically don’t think about making their movie in Atlanta. But in the past decade, the Big Peach has risen to the third most popular location for US film and TV production.
So which movies are we talking about? And how can Atlanta compete with Los Angeles or New York?
Today, we’re looking behind the curtain to see what this city has to offer the film industry.
Let’s get into it!
Why Is Atlanta, Georgia, a Great Location to Film Movies?
Some might say Atlanta is the new Hollywood. If you work in US film production, chances are you have worked there. According to project casting, Georgia is now the number one movie filming location worldwide. And there are plenty of reasons why.
Firstly, Georgia’s film tax incentives are top-tier. Production companies can get a transferable and refundable 20-30% tax credit for working in the state. Production shot up so high by 2016 that it was like the wild west, and producers would grab any able body for a helping hand.
The other big draw to Atlanta is its scenic versatility. You can shoot a creepy movie in the woods or a metropolitan love story. Also, the architectural variance makes Atlanta a top pick for period pieces set way back when. Some examples include Ford vs. Ferrari, Selma, and Stranger Things.
City and state officials know that movie productions bring money to the local economy. It’s no wonder over four billion dollars worth of new studios and businesses are thriving.
Pro Tip: Grab a bite to eat at Atlanta’s Ponce City Market: Southern Food Mecca.
5 Famous Movie Sites to Visit in Atlanta
Atlanta hasn’t always been a film hub. Sure, 1977’s Smokey and the Bandit was filmed there. But things really kicked up starting in 2008. Here’s our pick for five great Atlanta movie sites to visit:
#1 President Snow’s Mansion in The Hunger Games Franchise
Location: 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30305
President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland, is the main villain in the Hunger Games Trilogy. Hunger Games production designers knew his home needed to be equally as ominous. So the historic Swan House was the perfect fit.
Before it was the headquarters of the Atlanta Historical Society, Swan House was the family home of businessman Edward Inman. Some consider the residence as architect Phillip T. Shutlze’s most outstanding work. The massive entrance staircase is both breathtaking and daunting.
#2 Atlanta and Hidden Figures
Location: 830 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30314
Hidden Figures is a film based on the true story of three African American women working for NASA in the ’50s and ’60s. The 2016 flick received three Oscar nominations, and several Screen Actor’s Guild wins for outstanding performances.
Morehouse College in The Atlanta University Center was the filming location for NASA’s famous Langley Research Center. This school is part of the world’s oldest and largest consortium of black colleges and universities. In fact, it’s honored for its curriculum standards and is considered #1 in innovation.
Fun fact: Fox Pictures hired a Morehouse mathematics professor as a technical advisor to ensure the math equations were correct.
#3 Filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Location: 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Marvel’s newest blockbuster, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is about the citizens of Wakanda who must fight evil to protect their nation. Supervillain Killmonger goes to a British museum to steal treasures made of rare vibranium ore.
The museum scenes were shot on location at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The exterior looks like a futuristic compound. Prize-winning architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano designed the magnificent building. Exhibits include photographs from the civil rights movement, current African Art, and ancient masks and metal works.
#4 Mitchell Street Southwest and Spiderman
Location: Mitchell Street Southwest between Forsyth and Ted Turner Drive.
Southwest Atlanta is a movie production hot spot. It’s been roughed up for TV shows like Walking Dead and Superfly. And it’s been glamorized for films such as Black Panther and Furious 7. But its big claim to fame is its role in Spiderman: Homecoming.
Hotel Row is a nationally designated landmark district. The hotels and surrounding structures retain their early 20th-century character. A walk along Mitchell Street might make you feel like you’ve time-traveled back to the 1910s and ’20s.
Although Spiderman, also known as Peter Parker, lives in Queens, New York, most of the film was shot in Atlanta. Mitchell Street provided the setting for Peter’s neighborhood.
#5 Agnes Scott College Transformed for Scream 2
Location: 141 E College Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030
Atlanta’s famous movie locations span miles from the center of town. Horror fans will instantly recognize Agnes Scott College in Decatur. The school’s Victorian Gothic architecture was perfect for Scream 2. It’s where the main character Sidney Prescott went to school.
Agness Scott College is a top ten liberal arts college. Its mission is to educate women from around the world to think deeply and engage proactively in the challenges of their times.
Undeniably, the 1889 campus looks like a well-maintained movie set. And in fact, over 20 feature films were produced there! But if you want to visit Scream 2, check out Buttrick Hall by the Library.
Pro Tip: Go for a swim in one of these 7 Best Lakes in Georgia (and Awesome Nearby Campsites).
Movie Magic is Happening in Atlanta!
Atlanta is a movie production hub. It has plenty of diverse backdrops to choose from and new stages to shoot interior scenes.
Since the industry’s boom in the last ten years, Georgia’s economy has grown. Not only is it inexpensive to house a film crew, but it’s so busy that many now call it home.
For movie buffs, Atlanta has so many sites to see!
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