Movie makers plan sprawling studio complex in Fayette Co.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (AP) – Several investors in metro Atlanta have announced plans to build what would be the largest film studio complex in Georgia. The studio is set to open next year with five sound stages on 288 acres in Fayette County, just south of Atlanta, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The Rivers Rock LLC investment group is in talks with Pinewood Studios Group in London to run the complex once it opens in the spring of 2014, officials said. The Fayette County complex would dwarf other area film studios because it will have a lot of room to expand, said Matt Forshee, president and chief executive of the Fayette County Development Authority.
Plans call for it to open with an initial 305,000 square feet of space and would be expanded in future phases as demand for sound stages and film production space increases. In addition to the five sound studios, there will be mill shops, special effects facilities, and production and administrative offices. EUE/Screen Gems' 33-acre facility in the nearby Lakewood area of Atlanta is one of the largest stages in the country at 37,500 square feet, according to state film office data. It has a total of five sound stages, offering more than 150,000 square feet of production space. The complex is expected to eventually serve as a training ground for new filmmakers, lighting and grip professionals and other film industry workers. That training is a partnership between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 479 and Clayton State University, which is in the process of opening a film school. "It's designed to meet current needs of the film industry in Georgia. There's a need for crew members," said Janet Winkler, executive director of Clayton State University's continuing education department, which will oversee the new film school. --- Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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