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How the Georgia Film Academy will Transform Georgia's Film Industry

Georgia Film Academy is on track to build a powerful workforce for Georgia's growing film industry.

While other states are trying to figure out to how to get more funding for their failing film industry, Georgia's businesses are actively investing into the community. As Project Casting pointed out in the past, Pinewood Studios is a pivotal reason why feature films such as Marvel's Ant-Man, Captain America 3, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 have filmed or are planning to film in Atlanta, Georgia. marvel-studios-sony-pictures-entertainment-amazing-spiderman-amy-pascal-kevin-feige With such a large number of productions headed to Georgia, the state needs to provide an adequate number of qualified crew members to support production offices. With programs such as the Georgia Film Academy, major TV shows and movies such as The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games continue to thrive. That's when Gov. Nathan Deal organized what is now called the Georgia Film Academy. Image Courtesy: AMC Image Courtesy: AMC From The Citizen:
Pinewood Atlanta Studios architect Bill Foley speaking to the Fayetteville City Council last week said the new Georgia Film Academy would be located in the Pinewood Production Centre, located across Sandy Creek Road from the 288-acre studio complex. Foley said the academy would be opening this summer and would begin operations with 50 students. Pinewood Atlanta Studios developer Jim Pace said Pinewood has been working with film academy organizers for the past two years. They have indicated that they plan to be located at Pinewood, Pace said. Pace said Pinewood is in process of working on a Letter on Intent with the Board of Regents, adding that the film academy is a collaborative effort with the University System of Georgia. Speaking on the idea of having the new film academy located in Fayetteville, University System of Georgia Vice Chancellor for Extended Education Cecil Staton said the Board of Regents is currently involved in conversations pertaining to the site of the Georgia Film Academy.
Now, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Georgia Film Academy will be building a 15,000 square-foot sound stage at Pinewood Atlanta Studios. The Georgia Film Academy has just signed a letter of intent for 10,000 square feet of classroom space at the world famous Pinewood Atlanta Studios, giving students access to state-of-the art post-production equipment as well as resources to teach aspiring filmmakers the art of film and TV development. In addition, the Georgia Film Academy is in talks to build a dedicated 15,000-square-foot sound stage in order to make professional productions. Pinewood Atlanta Studios When is the newly refurbished state-of-the-art Georgia Film Academy going to be released? Well construction starts within the next six months. Pinewood Atlanta Studios is the first major partner of the Georgia Film Academy, according to the Film Academy's director Jeff Stepakoff, who addressed industry members of the Georgia Production Partnership. Apparently, the Georgia Film Academy will be working not only with the University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia but also major film industry partners, which will give students real experience on "commercially viable projects."
"We're looking to make professional quality work," Stepakoff said at the meeting. "...What we're doing is akin to a teaching hospital. If you want to get people to work, if you want to get doctors to work you don't send them off with patients. You have to put them in an environment where they can get real hands-on experience but still be in a teaching environment."
But, Pinewood Atlanta Studios is not the only film industry partner the Georgia Film Academy is working with. According to Stepakoff, a second industry partner in Georgia is in the works. Georgia Production Partnership "The Georgia Film Academy belongs to all of us; it belongs to the state of Georgia," Stepakoff said. "It belongs to the people from Dalton, people from Valdosta, people from Savannah and people from all over Atlanta. It belongs to the studios here... the Georgia Film Academy is seeking to work with all institutions as well as industry partners. And a model for that is Pinewood." Potential film industry partners include HBO, NBC Universal, and AMC. All of these major networks have approached the Georgia Film Academy to work with the growing film industry. uga By 2016, the Georgia Film Academy plans to release two pilot programs for two certificate courses to get aspiring filmmakers into the Georgia film industry. "The first semester-long course includes 6 hours a week in classes, plus out-of-class production work. The second semester's focus is on hands-on workshop training in independent moviemaking. Students will crew an entire film production and spend three hours a week per semester in class, plus weekend production work." And all of these credit hours will be accepted for degree programs at schools like University of Georgia and Georgia State University.

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