How big is the newly launched Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta? It covers 330 acres of land that once made up the former Fort McPherson army base in Georgia, dwarfing Paramount and Warner Brothers Studios in California.
There are dozens of sets, including a lakeside cabin, baseball fields, a bank, diners, motels and even a prison. But the scaled-down White House is the showpiece, complete with an Oval Office. A dozen sound stages range in size from 10,000 to 35,000 square feet. And then there are the acres upon acres of rolling green fields, farmland and forests, ready for movie location scouts.
Perry is a renowned actor, writer, director and producer, best known for his character Madea, who has appeared in a controversial series of movies, such as “Madea Goes to Jail” and “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”
Perry is also a shrewd business executive who has struck lucrative deals with the Oprah Winfrey Network. The blockbuster Black Panther was the first movie to be filmed at Tyler Perry Studios even before it officially opened.
The innovative entrepreneur hopes his studio will draw more movies featuring actors and directors of color. He says less than 5 percent of the top 100 movies of the past 7 years were directed by African-Americans.
The massive studio is likely to draw filmmakers from all over, as the state legislature passed incentives in 2008 to encourage film and television production in Georgia.