A Star is Born: FAQs about your Church and the Georgia Film Industry


Photo: On the set of 'Hidden Figures' courtesy of Collins Memorial UMC

The booming Georgia film industry has become a new part of daily life in many communities across our Conference. Local churches have enjoyed the opportunity to rent their buildings or parking lots for sets or staging areas. Collins Memorial UMC, for instance, can be seen in the Oscar-nominated film "Hidden Figures." And St. Paul UMC was able to install air conditioning in its sanctuary after the filming of “The Fighting Temptations” starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Here are a few questions we've received from churches, and answers we hope you’ll find helpful when it comes to offering your church up as a filming location.
Q: How do you vet someone who reaches out to your church about being a film location?
A: Luckily, the Georgia Film Office is happy to help. Call them at 404-962-4052, and they will verify whether a query is legit. They know what companies are at work throughout the state.
Q: Should the church involve an attorney or initiate a contract?
Most film/TV productions will provide a location agreement. This will include liability insurance policies to film on your property. An attorney is not necessary to negotiate the contract, but if you have one among your congregation, it never hurts to have a professional review it.
Q: How much money are we talking about here?
The film industry pays well for quality set locations. Depending on the amount of time needed, churches have been paid anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars.
Q: Are there other uses for our church if it doesn’t appear “movie worthy?”
There could be many uses for your church in the film industry! From opening the parking lot as a staging area to renting pews, churches have found creative ways to fund mission and ministry or building maintenance, by renting out their facility.
Q: How can my church make its facility available to be considered as a film location?
To have your church considered for a location, you must submit high-quality photos to the Georgia Film Office. Guidelines and directions for submitting can be found here, as well as other helpful FAQs. https://www.georgia.org/industries/film-entertainment/georgia-film-tv-production/list-your-property-as-a-film-location

—Rebecca Wallace and Sybil Davidson