April 30--ST. MARYS -- The Coastal Georgia Film Alliance has accomplished much since it was established three years ago.
This group of volunteers with a variety of professional backgrounds, including marketing, public relations, public safety and screenplay writing, has pooled its expertise to lure TV show producers and movie makers to the county.
Besides a number of independent short films, the film alliance helped convince Oprah Winfrey to film her network's TV series "Love Town USA" in Camden County. Scenes from two episodes of the USA Network TV series "Royal Pains" were filmed in St. Marys this past year.
The film alliance's success hasn't gone unnoticed. The organization has created a partnership program that invites other areas concerned about economic development in the region to join forces to lure more film projects to the region.
Alliance members will meet with Roy Kirkland of DSP Movies Wednesday in Valdosta. He plans to interview alliance chairman Doug Vaught and vice chair Barbara Ryan for a reality show he is producing on filmmaking.
He is also visiting to learn what the film alliance has done to be so successful.
Kirkland is trying to form a similar organization to attract filmmakers to the Valdosta area.
Based on the number of productions filmed in the region, it is clear to see why Kirkland wants to create an organization to attract movies to his area.
Doug Vaught, the film alliance's chair, says he and his board of directors are talking with other organizations and local governments to try to ensure the entire region can benefit from the emerging film industry in Georgia.
Past productions have brought increased business to restaurants, hotels, shops, trade businesses, such as carpenters and electricians, building supply stores and others.
"Georgia is among the top four states for film production," Vaught said. "If we continue with our successes and get just a sliver of the film business that comes to Georgia, our community will enjoy economic benefits that will go well into the future."
-- Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or at 464-7655.
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