On October 7, 2015, GMP had its first Quarterly Member Meeting on a beautiful afternoon at Park Tavern. Our special guest speakers were Chris Rickwood (Activision, THQ, Microsoft, Cartoon Network, Madden NFL 12, Smite, among others) Andrew Lackey (formerly of EA, now with Wabi Sabi Sound). Moderator Tammy Hurt guided them through a series of questions about the gaming industry. Rickwood described the process of composing music for the complex demands of a digital game (including how to write for all the variables an individual player can impose on a score and how to keep it interesting through them). Lackey talked about his years on the West Coast, from film composing in LA to the nascent gaming industry in San Francisco to, finally, moving to Georgia because it was a better place to raise his family.
How often have we heard that, right? It’s why so much entertainment production is popping up here – not only tax incentives for film and TV, but just the quality of life one can have in Georgia. That’s why GMP is working to get the same kind of tax incentives for music industry work, which can be West Coast and Nashville-centric. It’s a better life here — and the $3.8 billion dollar music industry in Georgia shows some people already know this.
Unprompted, Andrew Lackey touched on the fact that there is not proper training for students hoping to break into the gaming industry; the courses offered at the major universities are not adequate. Education needs to step up, develop the proper curriculum, so we can keep the talent in Georgia. Chris and Andrew both pointed out that they do not have enough help, they have more work than they can handle and they have to farm out to contractors in other regions. We must change this, educate the employees properly and keep them in Georgia.
Tammy announced that GMP Fundraising formally starts this month. All monies collected will go toward supporting our lobbyists and marketing materials that we needs to draw more attention to our tax proposals and, ultimately, get them passed into law so the Georgia music industry (which includes gaming and film/TV post-production) will enjoy the same renaissance as film production in our State.
It is not an impossible feat. Go to https://georgiamusicpartners.org/join-us/ to find out how you can help. Your fellow Georgia musicians – from Otis Redding to Johnny Mercer to Janelle Monae to Zac Brown and so many more – thank you.
(Gwen Hughes, GMP Board Member)