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Aug. 11 - Norma Deal Presents “From Folk Art to Fine Art” at Society of Bluffton Artists

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

August 11, 2017 - Norma Deal will present her paintings in a show called “From Folk Art to Fine Art” Sept. 5 through Oct. 1 at the gallery of the Society of Bluffton Artists, located at 6 Church Street. Meet the artist in person at the opening reception from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at the gallery.

Deal is a self-taught artist whose keen eye for color and composition is evident on canvas and other types of paintings on panels and boards. Deal was born and raised in Newton-Conover, NC. She relocated to East Tennessee, where she took art classes at East Tennessee University.

She finally settled to Hilton Head Island in 1992, when she became interested in capturing the bucolic Lowcountry in her art, but she is still drawn to the mountains and lakes from her North Carolina home. Deal was accepted in the 2013 BIENNALE National Juried exhibition held on Hilton Head Island, where she received 2nd place in the mixed media category.

“It is extremely difficult for me to repeat a painting to capture the original color and technique,” Deal said.

SoBA is the flourishing art hub in Bluffton’s historic District at the corner of Church and Calhoun streets. SoBA offers regular art classes, featured artist shows, exhibitions and more. Please visit for a complete calendar of events and other information or call 843-757-6586.

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FEATURES: Movies and TV Shows Shot in Georgia, an Industry Now Generating $9.5 billion for the State

Coastal Empire News Special Report

July 23, 2017 - Gov. Nathan Deal has announced that Georgia-lensed feature film and television productions generated an economic impact of $9.5 billion during FY 2017 which ended June 30.

The 320 feature film and television productions shot in Georgia represent $2.7 billion in direct spending in the state.

“Georgia’s film industry supports thousands of jobs, boosts small business growth and expands offerings for tourists,” said Deal. “As one of the top places in the world for film, Georgia hosted a remarkable 320 film and television productions during the last fiscal year. These productions mean new economic opportunities and real investments in local communities. We are committed to further establishing Georgia as a top film destination and introducing film companies to the Camera Ready backdrops available across Georgia.”

In addition to the increase in production expenditures, Georgia has experienced significant infrastructure growth with multiple announcements in FY 2017, including the announcement of Three Ring Studios in Covington. With this additional infrastructure, Georgia can accommodate larger tentpole productions with more capacity for multiple film projects.

“Literally hundreds of new businesses have relocated or expanded in Georgia to support this burgeoning industry – creating jobs for Georgians as well as economic opportunities for communities and small businesses,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Although these support services companies cannot claim the tax credits, they directly benefit from the increased amount of work in the state, and the fact that the savings from the Film Tax Credit are typically re-invested in the project, creating additional economic impact and activity for these Georgia-based businesses.”

The economic impact of the film industry can be felt across multiple sectors. In addition to camera, lighting and audio equipment, film companies use a wide range of support services during production including catering, construction, transportation, accounting and payroll and post-production.

“Georgia’s growth in the film industry – from $67.7 million in direct spending in FY 2007 to $2.7 billion in FY 2017 – is unprecedented, not only in production spend, but also in the amount of investment that has been made in infrastructure,” said Lee Thomas, GDEcD deputy commissioner for the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office (pictured). “The unwavering commitment to this industry by Governor Deal and the Georgia legislature has ensured Georgia’s place as a top destination for film and television.”

In 2017, the GDEcD Film and Tourism divisions partnered to celebrate the “Year of Georgia Film” to highlight Georgia’s film tourism sites, including local communities that have served as backdrops for movies and television productions since the 1970s.

Movies Opening in Theaters Soon, Shot in Georgia

Georgia-filmed movies scheduled to open in theaters in the coming months include:

“Logan Lucky” starring Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum and Sebastian Stan, opens Aug. 18.

“American Made” starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleason, opens Sept. 29.

“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” with Liam Neeson and Diane Lane, opens Sept. 29.

“Thank You for Your Service” starring Miles Teller, Haley Bennett and Joe Cole, opens Oct. 27.

Upcoming Television Shows, Shot in Georgia

Upcoming television productions that will air in the next few months include:

“Ozark” on Netflix starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, airs July 21.

“Manhunt” on Discover starring Sam Worthington and Paul Bettany, airs Aug. 1.

“Stranger Things” on Netflix, airs Oct. 27.

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June 26 – CEO of CineDome Studios envisions a ‘dome-shaped’ soundstage in Dougherty County

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

June 26, 2017 - CineDome Studios Inc. and the Georgia State African American Chamber of Commerce met with Dougherty County commissioners last week to discuss what could be a multi-million dollar investment in that county for a new film studio.

The company, CineDome Studios, Inc. envisions a movie studio lot that will feature a dome structure for its soundstage. Led by CEO Lydia McGee, she told Dougherty County commissioners that this would be the first dome-shaped studio in the U.S.  The company is looking at several locations in the county, but “especially the Lockett Station area.”

McGee said the dome would be about 120,000 sq. ft. and stand approximately 60 feet high, and that the dome shape improves sound quality in post-production.  It also reduces cooling and heating costs, she said,

Southwest Georgia has not had the same level of investment by film companies as is taking place in Atlanta and Savannah. 

But McGee told the Commissioners that they were attracted to Dougherty County because it was both easily accessible to other parts of the state and neighboring states, without the traffic of the Atlanta area. And, there was a large selection of terrains in the county. 

Her company is now meeting with investors, and continuing the process of looking at property opportunities. If funded, she estimated they could be operational in one year.

“We have a state of the art, efficient and extraordinary experience waiting for all of the film, television, streaming, documentary, music videos and others who want this,” McGee posted on the company’s Facebook page last week.  

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July 5 - Charles Bowen to Present “The Economic Impact of the Entertainment Industry on Savannah” to Hinesville Rotary Club

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

July 5, 2017 - Charles Bowen, founder of the Savannah Film Alliance and owner of Southern Gateway Production Services, will be the featured speaker at the Hinesville Rotary Club meeting Tuesday, July 11.

Bowen will present “The Economic Impact of the Entertainment Industry on Savannah” during the weekly luncheon at the La Quinta Inn and Suites on Highway 84.

Bowen is recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliance in 2015. The organization promotes the film community within Savannah and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education, outreach and collaboration.

Most recently, Bowen founded Southern Gateway Production Services, a gateway for producers and movie executives to navigate finding the best crew, talent and location services available in Savannah.

After going through a significant vetting process, Southern Gateway Production Services became a signatory to all IATSE National Term Agreements. IATSE is the union that represents most film and television crews. This allows Southern Gateway clients to gain access to the most favorable terms and conditions offered in the industry.

“From our work with Southern Gateway Production Services and the Savannah Film Alliance, I’m able to get a unique perspective into the inter workings of making films in our community,” said Bowen. “I hope to share this information with other area leaders to promote the growth of this promising industry.”

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June 23 - Lego Systems, Inc., Announces New Interactive Experience Tour

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

June 23, 2017 -  Kids and adults alike are in for a “bricktastic” adventure as LEGO Systems, Inc. kicks off the LEGO® World of Creativity tour. This new, hands-on LEGO building experience will tour the United States offering creative adventures for families across the country. LEGO World of Creativity will make five stops in 2017, launching in Savannah, GA July 7-9. Additional tour stops include: Albuquerque, NM (August 4-6), Tacoma, WA (September 8-10), Boise, ID (September 29-October 1), and Madison, WI (October 13-15). Tickets on sale now at The tour will continue in 2018, with markets and dates to be announced at a later date.

Packed with innovative activities all centered around the endless possibility of the LEGO brick, LEGO World of Creativity gives children and parents a chance to imagine, build and play together. Featuring new interactive building activities, as well as proven family-favorite experiences, LEGO World of Creativity is designed for the whole family to explore the world through imagination and creativity. Families will be captivated by the variety of build and play experiences available in hands-on building zones, such as The Big City, where they can build custom LEGO vehicles and test them down race ramps, The Ocean, where they are invited to build sand castles on a LEGO brick beach, and Outer Space, where customized LEGO creations are put to the gravity test. Other building activities, games and challenges will round out each stop.

“We can’t wait to be back on the road to bring a brand new LEGO building experience to families,” said Vince Rubino, senior manager, event marketing for LEGO Systems. “We know how much families enjoy the time they spend together at our brand-in- hand events. The LEGO World of Creativity tour combines some of the most popular official LEGO event experiences with a new slate of interactive activities centered on open-ended creative building that are sure to surprise and delight kids and adults alike.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with LEGO Systems on the LEGO World of Creativity tour and we’re excited to bring the classic LEGO brick building experience to families across the country,” said Eddie Newquist, EVP and chief creative officer for global events company, GES. “With GES’ long history of connecting brands with the families who love them, we are sure that the LEGO World of Creativity tour will be a wonderful addition to the roster of official LEGO experiences.”

Seven sessions – each three hours in length – will be held at each tour stop over three days. The event requires a timed-entry ticket and visitors are encouraged to purchase their tickets early to ensure entry during their desired date and time.

Session times for each tour stop include:

Friday Afternoon session 5-8 p.m.

Saturday Morning session 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Afternoon session 1-4 p.m.

Evening session 5-8 p.m.

Sunday Morning session 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Afternoon session 1-4 p.m.

Evening session 5-8 p.m.

Information regarding show schedule, venue, directions, event information, and tickets can be found at

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