The Center for Continuing Education at Clayton State University will be launching a new program in February 2014 that will have a major impact on individuals, economic development and a growing industry in metro Atlanta… and provide another way to make dreams real.
The Digital Film Technician Certificate program is a two-course program with day and evening classes that is designed to introduce students to production of digital media and film. Digital Film Tech Training I, scheduled to launch on Feb. 18, 2014 for the evening course and Mar. 3, 2014 for the day course, is designed for students with no background in digital media, as well as those students with some experience or coursework in the field. Digital Film Tech II, which will start in the summer of 2014, is a follow-up course designed to help students achieve a level of film/media production skills that will promote employability and/or the ability to become independent contractors.
Both courses are designed, and will be taught by, Barton Bond, who comes to Clayton State from New Mexico with 45 years of experience working in electronic media, the last 25 years being teaching on the college level. Beginning in 1987 at Santa Fe Community College, Bond developed academic programs in electronic media production and digital media. In 2003 he developed and taught the first, and to date the only, film technician training program in the country, a program created in response to a pressing need for qualified crew members to staff the numerous Hollywood-based films being shot in New Mexico.
With Atlanta rapidly becoming the Hollywood of the East, thanks to initiatives like the new Pinewood Studios in Fayette County, Tyler Perry’s studio expansion, and productions like “Catching Fire,” “Joyful Noise” (which included a scene shot on the Clayton State campus), and “The Walking Dead,” Clayton State’s Center for Continuing Education has brought Bond east to replicate that same program in the Southern Crescent.
“We are extremely fortunate to be able to offer this nationally-recognized curriculum,” says Janet Winkler, executive director of Continuing Education at ClaytonState. “Barton Bond comes to us with 40 plus years of media experience, the last ten of which were spent developing and teaching the only film crew training program in the country.”
“New Mexico was the first state in the nation to offer financial incentives to attract films and TV productions from Hollywood,” says Bond. “And also the first and to date the only state to develop a comprehensive training program to quickly get workers trained at level that would allow them to work on film sets.
“As the level of film, TV and digital media production in Georgia grows, the need for trained workers will also increase. We saw the same thing happen in New Mexico, and we trained literally hundreds of workers – giving the state the third largest crew base outside of Los Angles and New York. I see Georgia poised to exceed that number within the next few years.”
“In addition to preparing students for feature film and TV productions, the program will also provide students basic skills required to work in other media projects like independent films, and commercial and industrial projects,” adds Winkler.
Digital Film Tech Training I will deliver a complete basic skill set in the areas of production planning as well as on-set skills in lighting, grip, sound, camera, art, make-up, wardrobe, script supervision, locations and craft services. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in two, all-day Saturday film productions.
Digital Film Tech Training II will develop and reinforce students’ skills in the areas of production planning as well as on-set crafts. The course will include working with members of the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local 479 (ITASE) and other credentialed guest lecturers. Students will be able to work on “real” productions, network with and receive mentoring from local production professionals.
“I want to pay tribute and give credit to Bobby Vazquez, former president of IATSE Local 479, who had the vision for creating a program to develop a trained workforce here in Georgia, not only to support the current need, but to attract new film and TV production companies to Georgia,” says Winkler. “ClaytonStateUniversity has established a memorial fund in Bobby’s name to provide scholarship opportunities and a way for corporate sponsors to support this educational training program.”
Class sizes for the two Digital Film Tech Training courses will be limited. For more information, call the Clayton State Center for Continuing Education at (678) 466-5050, or go to http://www.clayton.edu/conted/Digital-Film