Georgia is a versatile place for staging feature films and television series. Want to film robberies and get-away chases in the middle of a city? Downtown Atlanta fits the bill. How about a comet coming to destroy the Earth? Georgia is just the place to save the planet.
Kyle Hinshaw, a Clayton County native and current Atlanta resident, helps make it all come to life as a location manager. For the crime caper “Baby Driver” he helped set up Atlanta for most of the action. In one scene, the director loved the exterior of one building but wasn’t satisfied with the interior. No problem. Kyle discovered that the interior of the Gainesville Post Office was a perfect match for that scene
The biggest problem on that set?
“We burned up a set of tires practically every scene,” Kyle said. “Fortunately, there are a lot of tire dealers in the area.”
To produce “Greenland,” the tale of impending doom as a comet hurls toward Earth, he located most of the filming at Robins Air Base, rural Monroe County and Atlanta. No comet struck the set, by the way.
Location managers not only seek out likely spots for filming, they handle most of the logistics onsite, from negotiating permits with the city about closing streets to finding parking spaces for cast and crew.
“I’m lucky to be able to make a good living with what I do,” says Kyle. “I’m grateful to the state for encouraging the film industry that enables me to take care of my family.”
A graduate of the film and video program at Georgia State University, Kyle has seen the industry prosper.
“We have an incredible infrastructure we didn’t have 10 years ago,” Kyle says. “Filmmaking requires an awesome array of skills and supplies, and everything we need is right here in Georgia now.”
A large part of the success of the industry can be attributed to the state tax credit to local productions. The return on investment is handsome. “Baby Driver,” for example put more than $30 million into the local economy.
“If that tax credit went away we’d see a huge reduction in productions, and that would put a lot of livelihoods in jeopardy,” says Kyle. “It’s truly a blessing to have this incentive.”
He cited the event management industry as an example, with its numerous companies that provide tents and supplies to concerts, festivals and other community events.
“Before the tax credit brought productions to the state, the film industry was a modest customer for those event companies,” says Kyle. “Now we’re their No. 1 customer.”