Real estate careers turn into small business helping film, TV productions

Amy Fuchs was working on Wall Street when she came to Atlanta for a wedding and fell in love with the city, infatuated enough to move South and take a job in finance. A single mom, she soon fell in love with her now husband of 13 years and added to their family with a daughter. She also started a second career in real estate.

It wasn’t long after that her life intersected with the film industry.

“ In our real estate business we were was getting a lot of calls about short-term housing for people coming here to work on film or TV productions,” says Amy. “It didn’t take long for us realize there was a gap we could fill.”

So began InFocusGa, a company owned by Amy and her business partner Jen Falk that makes connections that help solve housing and on-location issues for film and television productions.

One easy problem for two Realtors to solve was short-term housing needs for crew members and production teams. But then producers started asking about properties that could be used as locations.

“Since finding properties for someone to live in was our business, we could easily find properties for someone to film in,” says Amy.

They were alert to other opportunities as well. Most communities like to attract filmmakers; it’s good for business. But with filming can come disruption, especially traffic and parking. So Amy and Jen developed what they call “audience engagement.” By networking in a community where filming was taking place, they could reduce the friction by solving problems for the filmmakers and the community.

“In Atlanta, parking for crew members is always a problem,” Amy says, “so we approached neighbors and asked them if we could park cars in their driveway –– for a fee, of course. This helped solve the parking on location and made the neighbors feel they were a part of the production.”

To further cement community relations with filmmakers, InFocusGa can arrange local screenings when a film or television show is complete.

Currently filming in Madison is the Netflix production “Charming the Hearts of Men” starring Kelsey Grammer and Anna Friel. To help grease the community-relations skids for that production, InFocusGa went door-to-door explaining what was coming and how locals could engage with the production.

Their company is something of a barometer for the industry’s economic impact. Its real-estate rental arm is expanding as productions multiple, and its sales of homes are going up as well. “We’re noticing more and more people are giving up the commute from L.A. and settling in Georgia,” Amy says.

Two more opportunities are ahead for InFocusGa:

  • The company is planning an expansion in Savannah, already a hot spot for filming.
  • Also in the works is a partnership with American Real Estate University in Covington to teach Georgia real estate agents more about how to work with the film industry.

“The exciting part of working with film and TV production is the expanding opportunity for Georgia’s existing businesses,” says Amy. “It’s all right here.”

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