Writers, actors strike impacts Savannah film industry

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 4:14 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 5:54 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Hollywood writers announcing a tentative deal overnight with studios to end a months-long strike.

The film industry is big business in the Hostess City.

The Savannah Film Alliance says the industry brought in $440 million last year in economic impact to our area.

Local industry experts say this tentative deal is a step in the right direction but there’s still more work to do.

The terms of the tentative deal between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood studios have not been released.

The Savannah Film Alliance expects picket lines to end soon but that doesn’t mean the strike will be officially over.

WGA members will eventually vote on whether to approve the deal.

Since May, Hollywood writers have walked off the job over issues surrounding residual payments and Artificial Intelligence.

Savannah Film Alliance founder Charles Bowen says the strike has brought the local film economy to a halt impacting film sets and the businesses that support them.

“We went from having at any one time 5-10 productions, filming in Savannah to maybe one, at the most, two, and sometimes none. So, it has definitely had a tremendous impact, particularly when the actors and writers were both on strike,” Charles Bowen said.

Bowen says overall the entertainment industry has taken a financial hit from the strike.

But he’s optimistic that a projected rush to film when the strikes are officially over could spell good news for local production in 2024.

As for your favorite scripted move and TV shows Bowen says production on those will remain stopped while the screen actors strike continues.

He says the hope is that the framework for the writer’s deal will also help bring the actors strike to an end.