Lights, Camera, Atlanta!

The Walking Dead is filmed in Georgia

By Daniel Means [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta is a hot destination for filming, I’ve heard.  I see evidence of that in my neighborhood and just outside the College of Law!  Just this weekend, Bambino Films blocked off Auditorium Place for filming the upcoming Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx film “Baby Driver” by the M Deck and around campus.

Recent productions around Atlanta have included the last “Fast and Furious” movie, the “Hunger Games” series, “The Walking Dead,” “Selma,” and “Anchorman 2.”  Of course, Tyler Perry Studios in Southwest Atlanta has produced a number of movies, not just the popular Madea series.

How is all this made possible?  In part because the State of Georgia provides a great deal of support for film and tv production.  In fact, we have a state office (the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Guide Office) dedicated to helping producers bring their vision to reality.  The office maintains a database of property that people have submitted to serve as a film location, hosts an online directory of Georgia crew and production services, and links productions to local business and industry leaders.

Perhaps more important are the tax benefits of filming in Georgia.  There is a flat tax credit of 20% of the cost of production (minimum investment of $500,000) for qualified productions in Georgia.

How to find out the benefits (and costs) of filming in Georgia?  Easy!

First, check the statutes—state tax credits will be covered in state law. A quick search of the Official Code of Georgia turns up Section 48-7-40.26, the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act.  Check the annotations in an annotated code, and you might find “Lights, Camera, Action…Incentives,” by Kevin Potter, an article published in the Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives, describing the impact of the entertainment industry on local economy, as well as explains the Georgia tax incentive—as well as those of select other states.

To fully understand the processes involved, it’s critical to check the regulations.  Again, the annotated code provides some indication of where to begin that search.  The Georgia Department of Economic Development, Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Division, wrote the regulations for the application and qualification process for the Film Tax Credit under the Act.  The Department of Economic Development regulations are found at section 159-1-1.01 and following in the Georgia Compilation of Rules and Regulations.  The Georgia Department of Revenue is responsible for administering the tax credits.  Those regulations are found at section 560-7-8-.45 of the Georgia Compilation of Rules and Regulations.

What other costs could there be?  Don’t forget that a permit is necessary in many cases!  To find the rules for permits, check the city or county website.  In Atlanta, the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment provides support and guidance for production companies working through the permitting process.  Of course, if you want the rules underlying a posted permit fee schedule, you should check for city or county ordinances.  In the case of Atlanta, Chapter 46, Article IV of the municipal code governs entertainment filming.

To recap, state statutes governing tax credits provide an incentive, while state regulations provide further explanation of how to apply the tax credit.  Secondary sources explain the function of the tax credits in the economy and compare Georgia with other jurisdictions.  Local ordinances govern the permitting process, setting forth the requirements that production companies must follow to actually film a movie in my neighborhood or on campus.

ALERT! ALERT!

Students often ask about ways they can improve their research.  They say they want to be more efficient.  They say they want to be more effective.  They want to use technology proficiently, to support their work.  They know that employers are interested in hiring candidates who will do legal research as needed, keeping costs to a minimum.

The Applied Legal Experience, Research, & Technology (ALERT) Program is a non-credit program developed by the Law Library that provides students with additional opportunities outside of the College of Law curriculum to develop their legal research and technology skills.  Students, through a survey, identified the topics that are included this semester. Please RSVP if you would like to attend any of the sessions!

Upcoming next week is the sixth topic this year–Formatting a Word Document.  Roxanne Greeson, who works with the College of Law and the GSU Center for Instructional Innovation, will be presenting on the topic of Formatting a Word Document.  The presentation will help you to use the tools available in Microsoft Word to assure that your documents are formatted consistently and efficiently.  The program will happen twice:  5 PM on February 24 and 2:50 PM on February 25.

The next topic for the year is Legislative History.  Terrance Manion, Librarian and Director of Information Technology, will take you through the process of doing legislative history research.  We have some great tools in the library for gathering a federal legislative history, such as the ProQuest Legislative Insight database.  We also have print materials, such as Nancy Johnson’s Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories that are helpful.  The Legislative History program is scheduled for noon on March 2 and 5 PM on March 3.

The final topic will be Research Parties and Expert Witnesses.  Meg Butler, Associate Director for Public Services, will share tools and tips for using law library resources to identify and evaluate expert witnesses and parties.  The program is scheduled for noon on March 21 and 5 PM on March 24.

We hope to see you at the programs!

Regulatory research gets easier

ProQuest Regulatory Insight home screen

ProQuest Regulatory Insight home screen

The law library recently added the new ProQuest Regulatory Insight database to its collection of research tools available for you.  You may be familiar with ProQuest Legislative Insight, which provides legislative histories for federal laws that have been enacted.  Regulatory Insight contains federal administrative law histories organized by public law.

Our law students can access ProQuest products through our law library database list.  You may be asked to select the appropriate account when you login; if that happens, please select the account that includes the College of Law (“Coll of Law Lib”) in its description.

You can search Regulatory Insight by number, including Federal Register or Code of Federal Regulations citation, as well as the Public Law Number, Statutes at Large Citation, U.S. Code Citation, the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN), and the Agency Docket Number.

There is an advanced search function that allows word searching of the Federal Register (1988 to present) and the Code of Federal Regulations (1997 to 2015), as well.

If you need help accessing or using this new product, please contact a reference librarian!

Spring is coming early!

Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning–so spring is on its way!  In case you are wondering, neither did the Canadian groundhog Shubenacadie Sam, Staten Island Chuck, or Georgia’s General Beau Lee.

Sixth floor balcony on a foggy Groundhog's Day morning.

Sixth floor Law Library terrace on a foggy Groundhog’s Day morning.

For our borrowers, that means that fine amnesty will not be extended past today.  If you have any overdue library materials, please return them before 11:00 PM today, to take advantage of the amnesty period.  Everyone shares the law library resources.  We thank you for your consideration for your colleagues!

 

Watching for Punxsutwaney Phil

Group photo including man holding Punxsutawney Phil

Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog’s Day in Gobbler’s Knob, photo by Anthony Quintano, licensed under CC BY 2.0

This semester you may notice that you again accrue fines if you keep library items past their return time.  The librarians want to assure that everybody has access to our resources, and charging for items that are overdue will help assure that items, including study aids and reserve materials, are available when people come to borrow them.  A systems upgrade turned off the fines and we just got the issue resolved.

Since you may have forgotten about fines while they were turned off, we ask that for now, you please be sure to turn in any overdue items.  We are providing an amnesty through Groundhog’s Day.  You may see fines on your account (if you return an item late), but we will waive them for any items returned by February 2.

But wait, there’s more!  If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow on Groundhog’s Day, we will extend the amnesty period by 6 more days to end on February 8.  If the prediction is six more weeks of winter, we will give you all six more days of amnesty for returning your overdue items.  For items returned after the end of the amnesty period, fines will accrue as our Circulation Policy indicates.

If you have questions about the policy, you may speak with Meg Butler, Associate Director for Public Services, or Kris Niedringhaus, Associate Dean for Library and Information Services.

Visit Georgia’s historic constitutions

Did you know that the State of Georgia is currently operating under its 10th constitution?  That is a lot of serious writing and revision for our state to keep up with the times.  Remember, a constitution is a foundational document that establishes the government and defines its powers and the rights of the people who are governed. We are currently governed under the 1983 constitution.

The Georgia Archives, located in Morrow, Georgia, recently announced an exhibition containing six of the ten constitutions!  These constitutions are not normally available for viewing all together, so this is a special opportunity.  The exhibit closes on November 13.

The display includes the the constitution of 1789, which gave the Georgia government a structure more parallel to the then recently created federal government.  When Georgia returned to the United States following the Civil War, the state was required to promulgate a new constitution–the constitution of 1868, which is also on view.  In addition to the constitutions, there are some supporting documents included in the exhibition.

When a new constitution is considered, there is often a constitutional convention which is followed by a referendum.  This means that elected officials have a meeting to draft a proposed constitution, agree on the proposed language, and then ask the people to vote on the proposal to approve (or disapprove) the constitution.  The transcripts of the Select Committee on Constitutional Revision, 1977-1981 (culminating in the 1983 constitution) are available through the Georgia Government Publications database.

Strategies for managing your time in the library

student reading a book in a study carrel in the law library.

Student studying in the law library.

We are approaching the time of the semester where law students, especially first years, begin to feel the time crunch.  In addition to balancing or juggling demands on your time from outside of law school, law school places its own demands on your time—read for class, brief cases, outline, study for exams, meet with study groups, etc.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you make the best use of your time in the library.

  • Plan to study when you are freshest—some of us are morning people, others are night owls. Try to do the most mentally taxing work when you are freshest and your concentration levels are highest.
  • Set aside some time for individual study and some time for group study. Consider the way that you best learn material—flash cards, outlines, flow charts, working through hypotheticals out loud, etc. If you learn best making outlines or flow charts by yourself, spend your time accordingly.  On the other hand, if going through flash cards with a partner, reserve a study room and get to it!
  • Treat law school as if it were your full-time job. (Note:  This is harder if you are in the part-time program and already have a full-time job.)  Plan your ‘work week’ around your classes, so that you can maximize the amount of time you have on campus to focus on school.
  • Come to the library between classes. Make use of the opportunity to study between your 9:00 and 2:00 classes by coming to the library for some quiet.  Take advantage of the view from the 6th floor terrace when you need to refresh yourself, it’s only steps away from our designated quiet study area.
  • Book your study room ahead of time. Plan for your study group to meet regularly at the same time.  You can reserve your room in advance of picking up the key at the circulation desk and you will spend less time in line and more time with your group.
  • Chunk your studying. Our brains work best when we give them breaks—study for up to 50 minutes and then take a brief break before switching to a new topic or task.
  • Use the Exam Archive wisely. Many College of Law professors make sample past exams available for student use through the Exam Archive.  Visit InsideLaw to view these exams.  Some professors even include sample answers!

If you would like to consult library resources about time management, we have a few titles you might find interesting.  Singletasking:  Get More Done—One Thing at a Time and Time Management are two online resources you may find helpful.