Fayette County expects big things out of new movie studio

Fayette County expects big things out of new movie studio

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Georgia's film industry is expected to get a big boost in 2014. The movie studio that made blockbuster hits ranging from James Bond to Harry Potter is setting up shop in Fayette County.

Fayette County Chairman Steve Brown, one of the political architects behind getting Pinewood Atlanta Studios built in the county, predicts it'll be a "job-making machine."

The complex will feature five state-of-the-art movie sound stages on 288 acres.  It will be capable of handling big budget productions.

"Pinewood is a movie powerhouse. They have been in the business for 70 years," Brown said.  "They are known internationally. You bring the Pinewood name in, you are going to do something special."

Pinewood has already picked out its first film, but no information on that has been released.  

There are at least two more construction phases planned.

"It's going to bring a lot of jobs -- a lot of really nice paying jobs," Brown said. "A lot of these are union wage jobs in the movie industry.  There will be more need for restaurants, hotel spaces, rental housing spaces to keep casts and all the staff members that are coming down for these productions."

A few minutes away in Senoia, Ga., where "The Walking Dead" is filmed, studio president Scott Tigchelaar said that the town has been almost totally reborn during the Great Recession -- all because of the movie business.  "The Walking Dead" remains cable's top rated show.

"You know 10 years ago, this was a dead little town," said Tigchelaar. "And I think you are going to see the same impact in Fayette County and are already seeing it.  There are businesses that are industry related that support the film industry that are moving to Fayette County – and crew that are moving to Fayette County -- to support this industry."

Filming at Pinewood is expected to begin at the end of the month.

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