Coffee with Mike Staples
Here at the Georgia Experience Center, we're constantly working with our partners to help the industries in the state grow. How do we do that? By having an awesome team of experts. Learn more about what we're up to during our quick coffee break Q&A sessions. Let's meet Mike!
What part of town do you live in?
What’s your role at Georgia Power?
Film Locations for Georgia Power. Our engineering department took on this role two years ago when it became apparent that film production in Georgia had grown to a point that we needed to be available to help. Any industry that employs Georgians and brings revenue to the state is something we want to help with, and it's in our wheelhouse. It's been an incredible addition to the work we do to help companies find locations.
Describe the film industry in Georgia in two words:
Growing and BUSY.
Tell us your favorite part of your job.
I like watching the film when it's all done, like in First Man. It's super cool to see the work behind it all and then the magic when it all comes together. I love that we can help with that.
How does Georgia Power help?
As the second largest land owner in the state, we get asked for things like space for parking. But we also have a wide variety of "looks" for filming- from power plants to dams, offices, lakes, fields- that are useful for filmmakers. My job is to help them find the right one. We've filmed everything from reality show obstacle courses to major movies to hit TV shows.
What do you think is next for Georgia film?
To make a complete ecosystem of film, the big piece we're missing is writing and post-production. Right now, we're a production state, and we're becoming more of a complete film-making state. They are trying to keep writers here in Georgia, so we have everything from start to finish. A lot of the colleges, like SCAD and Georgia Southern, among others, are working on more courses to keep those writers here.
What was the coolest moment so far?
Watching First Man's set design on the roof of Plant Scherer. It was incredible. And plus, everyone thinks its cool that I met Ryan Gosling, so that's fun.
What do you love about Georgia?
Everything - there's so much to see and do here, a wide variety. The same reasons the film industry loves it here - we have it all. Mountains and beach, and a wide variety of beauty - I love it here.
What are you watching right now?
I watch hours of documentaries! And I watch most of the Georgia filmed stuff - just finished Ozark season 2 and loved it.
What are you most excited about when you come into work?
I like working with everyone here. We have such a cool and inspiring team. Seeing the great talent we have on our team is just inspiring.
Go-to karaoke song?
Anything Alice Cooper. We have the same voice!