Film and Digital Media Center. Located on the main campus in the Harry S. Downs Center for Continuing Education building.
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Are textbooks required? The program does not require textbooks. However, every student will be required to have a set of “Production Tools”:
There will be also be a significant number of background and support hand‐outs that students will need to download from the internet.
How long is the program and do I have to take both courses? The entire program takes about eight months to complete –successful completion of both courses is required to obtain the Georgia Film Academy Certification and a Certificate of Program Completion from the Film and Digital Media Center.
What do the two courses cover? The first course assumes no prior experience or knowledge of film production, with a focus on job descriptions, organizational structure and order of operation for on‐set production. The course will build skills in: lighting and electric, grip, art department, make‐up, wardrobe, sound, craft services, locations management, script supervision (continuity). Students will be exposed to the roles and procedures related to camera operation, the AD department, the production office and casting. The second course is all production – with at least three productions on the schedule.
How do I get into the film union? There are two locals of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) union operating in Georgia: Local 479 (headquartered in Atlanta) covering most of Georgia and Local 491 (headquartered in South Carolina) which covers the Savanah area. If somehow you are able to get on recognized working set(s) for a stretch of time (60 days is typical), you can ask a member of the local to sponsor you for membership, and you will need one to three additional recommendations letters form industry professionals. You then submit your application to the Local along with an application fee and membership dues in advance (from$600‐$840). The general membership then votes on your application.
Does the program provide job placement services? The key element to getting on the film profession is getting time on working sets. Many current union members got into the business because a friend or relative brought them in. That type of entry however does not guarantee long‐term employment or union membership however. A working film set is not a very good place to learn from scratch, so the turn‐over rate for entry level workers is quite high, and second chances are not common. This program provides a strong path for students headed for on‐set jobs , including union‐member mentoring, networking opportunities, time on working sets (for small productions), and the development of a professional portfolio.
Do I have to join the film union to work on film or television projects? Technically no. However, since film, television (and increasingly) high‐end web projects negotiate with the national union for labor contracts and with the union local to arrange for crews, union membership is a strong path to film industry employment.
What sorts of jobs will the program prepare me for? At the root of the Program is preparation of trained workers to support the growing film industry in the state of Georgia. To that end, the Program is designed along the first path (below) and additional opportunities may be developed with further training in path two and path three:
A. Traditional on‐set film crews. Given the number of productions currently in the state or scheduled/projected to be here within the next six months (the “pipeline), the development of major studio complexes around metropolitan Atlanta, this area promises to have a large potential for employment.
B. Off‐set. The growing digital media industry will also require qualified workers in two area:
1. Art Department construction (props, sets, wardrobe)
2. Production Office (accounting, general office, pre‐production)
C. Digital Creation (editing, animation, storyboarding, electronic effects)
What is the pay rate for film workers? Hourly rates for professional workers on major film sets (most commonly union members) range from $25 to $32, depending on the budget of the production and the level of the job. Note that most productions operate on a 12‐hour work day, with hours over 8/day paid at time‐and‐a‐half.