The Brass Ring
Georgia has all the infrastructure necessary to continue for decades as a production powerhouse. The next and biggest step: Investment in original content creation.
Georgia continues to be a powerhouse for film and television production, rivaling all other us locations outside of Hollywood and New York City.
Georgia’s investment class has made some moves into infrastructure, studios being the prime example, but they are yet to make meaningful investment in content creation
“If Georgia really is going to be sustainable in the long term, we have to expand outside of just producing films, and we’ve got to create the content locally,” suggests Jim Andersen, AVP of commercial lending at Bank OZK.
Fortunately, there are a number of people who have already started pushing to fill in the gap. Solutions to the problem of Georgia’s film industry ecosystem range from the more traditional to the bold and ambitious, and it’s not going to take just one idea to crack the nut of in-state investment.
“The idea is to educate and cultivate an indigenous population of producers and financiers that don’t necessarily need to rely on the West Coast or New York to green-light, produce and ultimately distribute content,” says Don Mandrick, Managing Director of Georgia Production Finance.
Another option is to invest in more than a single independent project. There’s been suggestion of a film fund in Georgia that could spread the wealth around to a varied production slate. But even that might not appeal enough to potential partners, especially in the beginning. “I don’t think a pure content fund is diversified enough,” argues John Adcox, the CEO of Gramarye Media. “I think it’s got to touch other elements. So having the real estate component, having the distribution component — distribution is first-money out, so obviously that’s going to be very attractive to investors.”
Gramarye is an Atlanta-based cross-media startup looking to disrupt the Hollywood model by financing the development of their projects and other components of their mini movie studio as well as a publishing outlet and virtual reality production facility through a Security Token Offering, which has been likened to cryptocurrency but is more a kind of tradable digital share in the company and pays out dividends. It’s a fresh form of capital fundraising that is also fully regulated. “You have to disrupt from without,” Adcox says of what his company is doing. “And Georgia is probably the only place on the planet where we can do something of this scale and disrupt to this degree.”