Valarie Bell, primary instructor
A lucrative new market has opened up for Halls Atlanta Wholesale Florist — the Georgia film industry.
“In the past five years, our revenue has grown by $1.5 million due to the impact of Georgia’s TV and film industry,” says Mark Bell, Halls Atlanta’s supplies manager and dean of its floral design school. “Since we’re a wholesaler — a bulk volume business —we’re limited to whom we can sell. The movies opened up an entire new market for us that didn’t exist before locally.”
Over the years, the family-owned business, started in 1921, has grown into one of the top-ranked wholesalers in the nation.
Mike Whaley, principal buyer, and Scott Jensen, owner
Greensmen and set decorators working on films shot in Georgia need local resources. Halls Atlanta was ready to jump in when the film industry came calling. It has an unmatched product line and the largest “bucketed cooler” (fresh cut flowers and plants in buckets of water) in the Southeast.
Cinema is a visual medium and can require unusual botanicals to achieve the desired look. Halls Atlanta meets the challenge with foliage, flowers, fresh mosses, branches, containers and all manner of exotic items.
It provided an array of products for films from pots made of dried vines for science-fiction movies to a wide variety of floral arrangements. One action movie required gorgeous floral arrangements in delicate vases that were then blown up by the special effects team.
“Black Panther,” recently filmed in Georgia, required jungle landscapes. “They needed fresh moss. A lot of fresh moss. We sold them 40 cases a week for several weeks for their sets and to hide mechanical devices,” says Mark.
Halls Atlanta has even supplied dead flowers. “The Walking Dead” needed dried-up, dead flowers for a scene in an abandoned flower shop. Halls Atlanta set aside its floral refuse for them. “They certainly looked creepy,” says Mark.
The company has supplied flowers and accessories for “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals,” “Spiderman: Homecoming,” “Stranger Things” and many others.
“The Georgia film industry is very important to our revenue stream and the growth of our business,” says Mark. “We hope to see the film industry and its impact on local businesses continue to expand.”