By Jacqueline Holness

Filmed in Atlanta, Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” is one of the top 10 highest grossing films of all time, contributing $83.9 million to Georgia’s economy, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. Midtown, Piedmont Park, Castleberry Hill, Mechanicsville, West End, Vine City, Decatur, Alpharetta, Marietta and Cartersville were the locales where the film was produced, resulting in a significant investment in Georgia vendors, including numerous small businesses. For example, more than $29.9 million was spent on local rentals and purchases for set decoration, production and other supplies; more than $3.9 million was spent on transportation, including truck and car rentals; and more than $740,000 was spent on local wardrobe, including dry cleaning. While “Black Panther” production is over, numerous opportunities abound for in-state vendors and small businesses across the spectrum to partake in Georgia’s $9.5 billion entertainment industry.

“When I went to get contact lenses one time, [the business] was very busy because they were working on specialty contact lenses for ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘The Walking Dead,’” says Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Sets need recycling, dumpsters, shredding services for all of their documents. When a production comes in and sets up, it’s like everything you would need in an office – the copier, the phone system, the Internet service. And six months later, they will have it all taken out unless it’s a television series that’s going year round.”

Thomas recommends that business owners peruse the office’s Reel-Crew, a free, searchable, online directory of crew and support services in which Georgia business owners can advertise their services for local productions. Listings for personal trainers, accountants, auto mechanics and more can be found in the database …. Read More

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