CBS Atlanta investigates how Hollywood style production affects - CBS46 News

CBS Atlanta investigates how Hollywood style production affects state residents

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Siddeeqah "Sid" Powell is homegrown.

"I am from Atlanta, southwest Atlanta - S.W.A.T.S. You know, Campbellton Road Cascade," said Powell. 

Powell is a former track star who beat the odds by graduating from Georgia Tech.

"It was a tough school to get in and a tough one to get out of," Powell said.

Powell is an up and coming filmmaker and screenwriter, which is only fitting because her life is like a movie script. Atlanta's growing movie and TV production scene helped pave the way for her big break. The mother of two entered her screenplay, Somebody's Child, in an online competition sponsored by the Atlanta-based cable channel GMC. She didn't win the contest, but GMC bought the script anyway.

"We had over 2 million viewers. It broke records for the network and now it is in the regular rotation," Powell said. 

But the payoff didn't stop there. GMC also bought two more of her scripts. Those films are scheduled to air later this summer.

"You can do it from Atlanta. I have done it and it is proof positive that it can be done," said Powell.

The Georgia Film Music and Digital Entertainment Division says film and TV production in the state of Georgia has generated billions of dollars, created numerous jobs and made it easier for dreams to come true. But is there a downside? Ask Bruce Teilhaber, the owner of Friedman's Shoes.

"I remember selling Florsheim shoes for $10 a pair," Teilhaber said. 

Friedman's Shoes has been around since 1929.

"It is our niche of larger shoes that kept us alive," Teilhaber said. 

Friedman's has sold shoes to a large number of pro athletes, many of whom left rare signed jerseys on the wall. Two years ago, Friedman's had to close its doors because the wildly popular AMC show, The Walking Dead, was filming down the street. Friedman's and the rest of the businesses on Mitchell Street weren't big fans of the experience.

"We didn't like it and they didn't keep their word to us. Things they said they'd do, they didn't do and things they said they wouldn't do, they did," Teilhaber said. 

Teilhaber said the businesses weren't paid a fair amount and they lost money.

"This is not like a regular shoe store. I can get one man come in here and spend $60,000. Don King, the first time he was in here, he spent $61,000," Teilhaber said. "What if Don King was coming and I wasn't here and he called me and said I was coming yesterday but you were closed, I don't know if I could get back there again. I would have had a heart attack and died."

State film officials acknowledge there are some hiccups in the process, but they say everyone is committed to solving them.

"There are times when it can be inconvenient but I think you need to step back and realize the money that it is bringing in the state and the jobs and all of that," said Lee Thomas, the director of the Georgia Film Music and Digital Entertainment Division.

Powell said she's thankful for the opportunities Georgia's TV and movie production scene have provided her, but like Teilhaber she said there's room for improvement.

"I want to see film companies that exist here, I want to see them give opportunities to women that want to be in this industry. It is as simple as that," Powell said.

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