'Black Panther' excitement soars and Atlanta has a starring role

WSB-TV (See original story here)



It's hard to go 20 minutes these days without hearing some chatter about 'Black Panther.' The much-anticipated Marvel superhero film premiered nationwide Friday, but Atlanta definitely has a great reason to already be catching Panther fever: The film was shot around our city and generated millions for our economy.


Like several Marvel films before it, parts of the movie were filmed around Atlanta, primarily at the EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Lakewood, at Atlanta City Hall and in the Midtown and Sweet Auburn neighborhoods.


Yet another big production in Atlanta means local businesses are seeing a whole lot of extra cash.


The film generated a whopping $89.3 million to Georgia's economy, according to Motion Picture Association of America Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin.


At a crew and media screening of the film at the Fox Theatre February 7, Rivkin said the film funneled millions of dollars into local businesses and contributed over $26.5 million in wages to more than 3,100 workers across Georgia.


In addition to wages paid to film crew, some of those millions of dollars spent went into things like lodging for cast and crew, transportation, catering, production materials and wardrobe.


The growing film industry in Georgia is also a boon to Atlanta residents lucky enough to find themselves working on a set.


Channel 2 Action New reporter Wendy Corona spoke to two employees of MBS Equipment (which supplies production equipment to EUE/Screen Gems) about how much their lives have changed since joining the local film industry workforce.


Both Sidney Travis, a foreman, and Dwight Abercrombie, a rental agent, took a chance on working in the film industry early, when the Hollywood of the South was just getting its footing. Both men say the future in Georgia is brighter.


"If you come from a low income neighborhood you really don't see this coming. You don't see the movie industry coming into your reality or into your sight," said Travis.

"I think it's going to change a lot of generations. It doesn't look like it's going anywhere anytime soon," Abercrombie said.


It sure looks like the film industry is here to stay. According to Rivkin, last year, movie productions delivered a $9.5 billion economic impact in Georgia and generated 100,000 jobs.

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