'Gifted' highlights perks, impact of filming in Georgia, Savanna - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

'Gifted' highlights perks, impact of filming in Georgia, Savannah area

A still from the film "Gifted", which was filmed in the Savannah area. (Source: Youtube) A still from the film "Gifted", which was filmed in the Savannah area. (Source: Youtube)
CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

A film receiving a lot of recent press was filmed right here in the Coastal Empire. 

According to IMDB.com, "Gifted", starring Chris Evans, Jenny Slate and Octavia Spencer, was filmed in Savannah, Wilmington Island, Tybee Island and Atlanta. 

While "Gifted" was given a limited release by its studio, Fox Searchlight, the impact of this film, and the countless others filmed in our area and across the state, has had a tremendous impact on Georgia. 

According to the Georgia Film Office, "Georgia-lensed productions generated an economic impact of more than $7 billion during Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the film and television industry is responsible for more than 85,000 jobs and $4.2 billion in wages, directly employing more than 25,000 Georgia residents."

In fiscal-year 2016, Georgia was home to 245 feature films, television movies and series, commercials and music videos. A lot of that impact was seen here in the Coastal Empire. 

"When a production films in Chatham County, qualified productions will get an extra 10 percent, and this is what drew "Gifted" to our area," said Savannah Film Office Executive Director Beth Nelson. "Gifted" was actually the first production to take advantage of the incentive, and they received their incentive check when they finished filming. They were very happy about that."

That's in addition to the tax break qualified productions already receive from the state for filming in Georgia.

Savannah film officials recently returned from Los Angeles, getting a peek into some of the productions that are looking to start filming. WTOC has been told there are a few leads to some productions coming here, but nothing can be confirmed just yet.

The impact of filming in Savannah is pretty incredible.

"$61 million in direct spending was brought into Chatham County for the previous year, which has a $130 million economic impact," said Nelson.

A U.K. television series will start filming in Savannah in the coming months.

“Gifted” is about a little girl who is intellectually gifted and she gets tied up in a custody battle between her uncle and grandmother.

You'll recognize many local areas in the movie like Howard Elementary School, Huc-A-Poos as well as lots of marsh and beach scenes.

Another big reason they chose Savannah is the versatility of the landscape.

"’Gifted’ was a movie that was supposed to be shot in Florida and Savannah can look like Florida, so we can double as a lot of places and that brings productions here, too,” said Nelson. 

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