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Why Movie Studios Won’t Flee Georgia

The movie business has a god and it is money. They won't stop serving it, and therefore they won't leave Georgia.

They didn’t come for the sweet tea.

1) The movie business came to Georgia because of tax incentives, and the fact that it’s simply cheaper to film in Georgia than in other places, like California. 2) The movie business is about making money. They obsess over it. 3) The movie business won’t leave Georgia because of restrictions on abortion.

Individual actors, directors and producers may leave, for a time, because of virtue signaling. But there’s no mad rush to exit the state, and I doubt there will be anytime soon.

According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, there are currently 38 projects filming in Georgia. Of these, seven are feature films, including films backed by Warner Bros., Fox, STX, Netflix, and Universal. Sixteen reality shows are filming from all over the cable spectrum.

But the press is reporting one Amazon series that decided to leave. Called “The Power,” its plot is “young women suddenly develop the power to release electrical jolts from their fingers, shifting gender and power dynamics around the world.” Yeah. Great stuff. I’m sure this will be a hit to beat The Walking Dead or Stranger Things. (Sounds like the movie Brie Larson really wanted Captain Marvel to be. Captain Marvel did not film in Georgia, because, uhm, the whole movie was set in Southern California and Louisiana.)

Also, yeah, Ron Howard said he won’t film in Georgia anymore, right after he finishes filming Hillbilly Elegy, which is likely to be a blockbuster. “We felt we could not abandon the hundreds of women, and men, whose means of support depend on this production,” Howard’s production company wrote, “including those who directly contribute on the film, and the businesses in the community that sustain the production.” So it’s okay to hold those jobs and lives hostage over a moral decision in the future, but not today when we have money invested. Right.

It’s mostly virtue signaling. The movie industry has billions invested in Georgia. Money is their god. They won’t walk away from their god in favor of some other moral consideration. Ron Howard, or Jason Bateman, may be able to afford to leave and film elsewhere. However, studios can alway find another director, or another actor. Money matters and the movie business is, well, a business. In fact, the movie business creates no value other than entertainment, so money is everything.

On the other hand, no amount of money lost, if every studio packed up and left today, never to return, and the entire $4.6 billion in wages (from 2018), plus bragging rights for 15 top-grossing films, and beating the pants off Hollywood in production volume and value, was gone forever, it would not compare with saving the lives of babies violently ripped from their mothers’ wombs at 12, 20, 23, 26 weeks.

We can only serve one master: money or God. The movie business has a god and it is money. They won’t stop serving it, and therefore they won’t leave Georgia. They came because of money, not for the sweet tea.

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