The Savannah Film Alliance
It’s been over 20 years since “the book” captivated readers with Savannah’s quirks and culture and 18 years since the film adaptation of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” lit up big screens everywhere with the breathtaking sights of the Southern city. John Berendt’s story and John Cusack’s charm lured tourists by the thousands and, to a much lesser extent, production companies interested in capturing some of that Savannah magic on film as well.
What began as a trickle has evolved into a steady flow of filmmaking activity in and around Savannah, bolstered by generous tax incentives the state offers production companies to complete parts of or entire projects within its borders. In the past year alone, locals have caught sight of A-listers like Adam Sandler and Channing Tatum, Zac Efron and Robert DeNiro enjoying our abundant sunshine and Southern hospitality as they work on projects for companies that are enjoying our state’s tax credits and growing positive reputation within the industry.
But those on the inside of Savannah’s film industry believe that, with a little internal collaboration and a good bit more external conversation, this area could truly become the heart of Hollywood South.
“Here’s the thing about Savannah,” says Charles “Bo” Bowen, an entertainment attorney in town, “with the exception of mountains, there is nothing here you could not film on location. You can film jungle scenes, desert, any time period from prehistoric times to the future, the ocean is right here—which they certainly can’t offer in Atlanta—and you’ve got incredibly talented people here, too.” Bowen is spearheading the coordination of efforts to create a Savannah Entertainment Alliance, a group of professionals within the industry that will identify what needs to be done to lure filmmakers to come here and will work cooperatively toward finding solutions.