Editor’s note: This post is a part of a series of guest posts from the PRSA Georgia Chapter publicity committee for the PRSA 2015 International Conference, November 8 – 10. Follow the Conference conversation by searching the hashtag #PRSAICON and following our PRSA National Events Twitter handle, @PRSAevents.
Atlanta has become a filmmaker’s paradise in recent years due to generous state tax incentives for film and television productions. Georgia is ranked as the third-highest film production destination in the country, according to a recent FilmL.A. study. Between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, 248 films and television shows were produced in the state of Georgia, earning the state the title of “Hollywood of the South.” Major film productions shot in Atlanta include Marvel’s Ant-Man, The Divergent Series, Anchorman 2, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Mockingjay, Part 1 and 2 and Furious 7.
Atlanta is home to entertainment companies such as the 200,000-square-foot Tyler Perry Studios, the country’s first African-American-owned studio. EUE/Screen Gems Studios is a 33-acre production facility that is home to several films and network shows. Pinewood Studios recently opened a studio outside of the city and serves as home-base for current and future Marvel-franchise titles like Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, and future Avengers installments.
From the tree-lined streets of Driving Miss Daisy to Tyler Perry’s raucous sitcoms, Atlanta’s many facades have graced small and silver screens alike. To experience the action first-hand, Atlanta Movie Tours goes to more than 100 filming locations of popular television shows and films. Whether you’re a multi-genre junkie or zombie zealot, Atlanta Movie Tours has the tour for you. Two tours explore sites in and around Atlanta featured in AMC’s The Walking Dead. Spend three hours on either tour to check out popular undead hangouts around town. Their Atlanta Film Sites Tour highlights hundreds of locations of film and television sites, from “Gone with the Wind” to present day on a three-hour tour aboard a luxury motor coach. In addition to Atlanta Movie Tours’ “Victory Tour,” fans of The Hunger Games will want to make a stop at the Atlanta History Center for the Swan House Capitol Tour which showcases the rooms used for President Snow’s home in the film.
For those looking to rub shoulders with celebrities in town for filming, look to Atlanta’s top restaurants. Antico Pizza in West Midtown is home to some of the best pizza in the city, but has also become a favorite for the likes of funny-men Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Conan O’Brien and Paul Rudd. South City Kitchen in Midtown remains a hot-spot for celebrities, drawing A-listers like Tom Hanks, Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and Kiefer Sutherland. Other popular celebrity favorites include, 4th and Swift, Atlanta Fish Market, Bistro Niko, Buckhead Diner, Ecco, ONE. Midtown Kitchen, Twist Restaurant & Tapas Bar, TWO Urban Licks, and The Spence.
Local celebrities have also dipped their toes into the restaurant biz. Indigo Girl Emily Saliers is co-owner of Watershed on Peachtree, which was named as one of the best new restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Traveler. Watershed draws big names like Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Colin Firth and Kyle MacLachlan. You might spot Ted Turner at Ted’s Montana Grill in downtown Atlanta, along with friends Robert Redford and Hank Aaron.
Rachel Peavy, director of communications, ACVB heads ACVB’s public relations department, driving communications strategies that increase visibility of Atlanta as one of the top U.S. travel destinations and which promote brand awareness that positively impacts Atlanta’s $13 billion hospitality industry. She is a former PRSA Georgia Chapter Travel & Tourism SIG Co-Chair and is serving on the host committee for the 2017 PRSA International Conference. Follow her on Twitter @PRRachel