Live at Trilith: Condition of Georgia's film industry after double strike

WABE's "All Things Considered" broadcasted live on March 14 from the Town at Trilith, a mixed-use development directly adjacent to Trilith Studios. (WABE)

What used to be a family farm south of Atlanta is now home to the largest movie-making complex in North America.

Trilith Studios has become an anchor for the film industry in Georgia, but what does that have to do with Chick-fil-A?

As it turns out, the vision of Dan Cathy, son of the fast food chain’s founder, first brought the film studio to Fayetteville.

However, it has since developed into much more than a few sound stages.

WABE’s “All Things Considered” visited the large development in Fayette County on March 14 to talk to members of the film and TV industry, Trilith CEO Frank Patterson and to hear from WABE reporters who’ve covered the film and television industries.

Art director Lauren Coghlan, locations manager Valerie Warren and actor/set designer Alvin Ashby joined the show to talk about their personal experiences with finding work during and since the shutdown, as well as their broader perceptions of the state of the industry.

Trilith CEO Frank Patterson says his plan has been to make Trilith a one-stop shop for creatives, with everything necessary to see a project through from conception to filming to post-production.

The idea for the development began in 2012, when Cathy and his wife traveled to London to watch the Olympics, where Cathy met with Pinewood Studios, a well-established studio responsible for the “007” franchise.

Cathy, interested in bringing more movie businesses to Georgia to take advantage of the state’s generous tax incentive that passed in 2008, asked what would be necessary to expand.

The Pinewood executives told him if he could build five sound stages in 9 months, they would send Georgia a Marvel movie.

That movie was Marvel’s “Ant-Man” and since then, three of the top 10 grossing films of all time, including two of the “Avengers” films and “Spiderman: No Way Home” have all been filmed at Trilith.

Trilith now has more than 30 sound stages on 1,000 acres, as well as residential space and all the amenities necessary for a self-contained community, from restaurants and shopping to a school and soon a church.

Christopher Alston contributed to this report.