Local

Behind The Scenes Of Georgia’s Movie, Television Industry With Film Friendly Georgia

The company Film Friendly Georgia finds homes like this to be possible location sites for films and music videos.
The company Film Friendly Georgia finds homes like this to be possible location sites for films and music videos.
Credit Anastaciah Ondieki / WABE

In Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood, nestled among some more traditional brick homes, sits a modern property with tall white walls, large windows and a pool in the back.

It’s a contemporary home that looks like it would also be also well-suited for Miami or Hollywood.

That’s exactly what makes it the perfect set for many television and movie sets, said Wanda Morganstern, founder and CEO of Film Friendly Georgia.

You might not recognize it from the outside looking in, but this home has served as the set for “South Beach” and other film projects.

The residence is currently on the “short-list” for another shooting “which cannot be named,” said Morganstern.

And this home isn’t the only residence in Georgia of its kind.

Last year, a record number of films and television shows were filmed in the state.

Then-Gov. Nathan Deal announced in fiscal year 2018 that 455 film and TV projects were filmed in the state, resulting in $2.7 billion in direct spending.

Film Friendly Georgia is one of many companies that has grown out of this film and television boom.

Morganstern describes her business as a “location services concierge.”

Simply put, she helps helps connect television and movie producers with the shooting location.

It’s a business that’s grown even more in-demand, as Georgia’s film industry has taken off.

Morganstern said the idea came to her after 10 years of working in commercial real estate. She also also has a career in acting and film herself, and she says time on set showed her the need for a business that represents homeowners who want to make their homes available for filming.

Founded in 2013, Morganstern said her company was among the first of its kind.

Now, she manages properties ranging from California-style homes to authentic 1800s style log cabins, with the help of a team of site representatives.

“I have a lot of residential properties, but I also have commercial properties. I have a couple of private schools, I have churches, I have office buildings, I have restaurants,” Morganstern said. “If someone asks me for something, and I don’t have it, I do my level best to find it.”

She added that any property, from offices to mansions, can be a good fit for a movie, depending on the director’s vision.

Once the property and the producer come to an agreement, Morganstern said it’s her job to make sure the homeowner’s space is respected, which is not always an easy task.

She said she can work up to 12-hour days that start with clearing the house of irreplaceable art or securing family heirlooms and end with her checking in on homes at the end of a day-long shoot.

“I’m busy,” Morganstern said simply. And she hopes to keep it that way.

When asked about the growing film industry Morganstern said, “It’s been tremendous, and I’m incredibly grateful for it.”