It might seem a stretch to follow a career in law enforcement with another in the movies.
But don’t tell that to Ben Payne.
Payne was a sheriff’s deputy in Florida and Georgia for 30 years.
Now his company, Risk Management Associates of Georgia, thrives by providing security services for movie and TV productions, in studios and on locations.
In just three years, the Conyers-based business has doubled in size to include about 50 full-time employees and a pool of 150 on-call officers to help on temporary assignments. With about 70 percent of its business coming from productions, Risk Management recently opened a second office in Eatonton as well.
“In the last three years, we have done probably a half-dozen of the regular, ongoing TV series, and dozens of movies,” says Payne, whose son Jason also retired from law enforcement to join the firm.
“It’s just been great. We’re a small company. It has helped us tremendously as far as growth potential.”
The company has worked on titles like TV’s “The Vampire Diaries” and the forthcoming feature “Felt” with Liam Neeson.
Security challenges on sets include the high-end equipment, the presence of celebrities, and the fans who want to get a picture of the production or stars.
Payne credits Georgia’s tax incentives for bringing and keeping productions here.
“It looks very good, very promising,” he says about his company’s outlook. “Several studios are being built. As long as they continue to receive the tax benefits, we’ll continue to grow.
“Several states got rid of the incentives, and because of that, Georgia is reaping the benefits. More and more people are coming here.”