Clayton State University announced the recipients of Atlanta Metro Studios’ 2017 James D. Brubaker Film Scholarship at a ceremony in Lucy Huie Hall on Thursday. The film industry scholarship was given to the deserving Fulton County High School students and graduates who expressed a desire and showed the commitment necessary to be a part of the next generation of Georgia’s film industry professionals.
“The James D. Brubaker Film Scholarship offers budding Georgia filmmakers an incredible opportunity to acquire key skills for the film industry through hands on learning. These exceptional and talented students were interviewed from a large group of candidates and selected because of their passion and commitment. They are now realizing their dream and taking the first step toward the goal of entering the film industry. We congratulate these winners and appreciate the generous support of the sponsors who made this happen,” says Glynn Beard, director of Clayton State’s Film and Digital Media Center.
The winners of this year’s scholarship are:
- Caleb Rollins- Westlake High School
- Seth Hernandez- Westlake High School
- Uzziel (Bryce) Roberson- Westlake High School
- Jekorey Harris- Langston Hughes High School
- Ugochi Okiyie- Langston Hughes High School
Each student will receive a $2,200 scholarship to cover the cost of completing the Georgia Film Academy Certification through Clayton State University’s Film and Digital Media Center, a partnership with the Governor’s Office to train “below the line” technicians for film and television.
“It’s about the students. It’s about a scholarship that is done in the name of Mr. Brubaker and I think it’s incredibly stellar that the kinds of students that we serve—students looking for opportunities, who are hard workers, and who are willing, able and committed to work, are selected to receive scholarships named after a person whose life’s story is based upon the demonstration that hard work and commitment in the film industry will pay off,” said Dr. Tim Hynes, president of Clayton State University. “For our scholarship recipients, for these kind of positions, the American dream is still alive.”
The scholarship is named in honor of filmmaker James D. Brubaker. As one of Hollywood’s top film producers who got his start in film as a driver for John Wayne and Elvis Presley, Brubaker is credited with some of the industry’s highest grossing films, including Gia, The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty and Above the Rim.
Designed to give Fulton County’s worthy students an opportunity to be a part of Georgia’s growing film economy, the scholarships commemorate Mr. Brubaker’s more than five-decade long commitment to the film industry as well as to honor his tireless work to promote and mentor aspiring filmmakers throughout his career.
“One very important lesson I have learned from my partner, James D. Brubaker is that it takes a great and continued collaboration to make a long career in the film and television business possible,” said Brian Livesay, Founder and Managing Partner of Atlanta Metro Studios. “The film business requires collaborations on many levels, and none are more important here in the great State of Georgia than that of our industry’s relationship with Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia General Assembly. We applaud our state leadership for working tirelessly to support the important legislation that creates opportunities for high paying industry jobs and careers in the film and television business at home here in Georgia.”
Ed Richardson, founder and managing partner of Atlanta Metro Studios, added, “very apropos considering James D. Brubaker’s long professional involvement with Sylvester Stallone, and even more specifically with the legendary Rocky franchise, that each of our scholarship recipients literally has the eye of the tiger. These students want to live a creative life and have each impressed our scholarship team with their very honest desire to be a part of this industry. Their commitment has them on track to build a rewarding career in a very collaborative team environment.”
Through Mr. Brubaker’s support, along with Clayton State University President Tim Hynes, Ed Richardson, Brian Livesay and John Rooker of Atlanta Metro Studios, Union City Mayor Vince Williams and Dr. Yalanda Bell, Executive Director of Fulton County Public Schools Career and Technical Education program, these students have an opportunity to get the necessary training to pursue a career in the booming $9.5 billion (fiscal year 2017) Georgia film economy.
“I am honored to have my work recognized in the form of scholarships to train students in the valuable crafts behind the screen. Many people associate films with movie stars without realizing the importance of the names credited at the end of a film -- for cinematography, wardrobe, lighting, sound, editing, props, the list goes on,” said James D. Brubaker. “When a script is locked and we are ready to shoot, it is the men and women in these technical crafts who enable the story to come to life. I applaud Clayton State University, The Georgia Film Academy and all who have been involved in creating this program for their foresight and recognition that the way to maintain a viable entertainment industry is to assure a pipeline of well trained professionals.”
Georgia State Representative Tom Taylor, R-79, who is chairman of House Economic Development & Tourism Subcommittee on Film & Entertainment, noted that the rapid growth of the film industry in the state has demonstrated a mutual investment between film industry leaders and state legislators in the state's economy.
“The film industry has invested not only in the State of Georgia, with their confidence that we have put in place financial incentives that make us a true partner, but also as a great place to work and live. By moving past the initial startups of operations here, they have committed to providing outstanding Georgia students the opportunity to learn from industry experts and eventually work in this thriving industry," Rep. Taylor said. "This giving back to the community is a crucial step in ensuring that our young workforce is prepared to enter this exciting profession, as well as giving the industry a lasting and sustainable pool of local talent.”
The students were thrilled to receive their scholarships at Thursday's ceremony and take the first steps toward launching their film careers.
“I was ecstatic. I know that I can do anything and achieve anything now that I’ve done this,” said Ugochi Okiyie, a recent graduate of Langston Hughes High School about winning the scholarship. “I want to be more of a producer. I hope to get many opportunities and learn new things.”
The James D. Brubaker film scholarship has been made possible through the partnership of Clayton State University’s Film and Digital Media Center with 404 Studio Partners, Atlanta Metro Studios, the City of Union City and the Fulton County Public Schools Career and Technical Education program.