Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 26
The GFA proved to be just the ticket for aspiring
screenwriter Laura McCarter, who graduated from Kennesaw State University in May with a bachelor's degree
in English and a minor in professional writing and film
"The survey course was way more than I expected,"
she says. "Starting with learning the necessary walkietalkie lingo, instructors gave us a chance to get our
hands dirty, use real equipment and see how things
After successfully completing the course, she was
one of 80 students chosen for paid internships. Playing to her English major strengths, she took a job in the
production office on the CBS "MacGyver" set.
"I learned a lot about the documents necessary for
filmmaking, who gets what and why," she says. "It's
exciting being on a set-and stressful, because there's
so much money on the line. But there's so much energy,
too. I love it, and film is definitely the career for me."
Now enrolled in the KSU graduate professionalwriting program, McCarter has the experience and
contacts to keep working.
"The cool thing about this industry is that you might
work on a project for six months, but then not work
again for four months, so I could write while still being
professionally connected to what I love," she says.
Miles Grier was encouraged to check out the
programs at Southern Crescent Technical College in
Griffin and the GFA by a former teacher, Scott Votaw,
GFA director of production. Giving up his job stocking grocery-store shelves, Grier acquired the electrical
and filmmaking skills to be an intern on the set of "The
"My dad got me interested in movies. We'd always
watch through the credits. He'd tell me that it took a lot
of people to make a film," says Grier, a Griffin native.
Now, he intends to be one of them. To be eligible
for official crew positions, Grier became a member of
Georgia's film union. He plans to work while finishing his GFA certificate and his film and video degree at
"I'd like to work in film editing someday, but I've
learned that it's important to understand what goes into
this business," Grier says. "The GFA prepared me to be
on set. It gave me the confidence to keep growing and
learning on my own to pursue the career I want."
Arming students for real-world jobs
More than 450 GFA students have completed internships after taking classes at Pinewood Atlanta Studios
in Fayetteville and at various hubs throughout the state.
Stepakoff is proud to say that the Georgia Film Academy
student body "looks" like Georgia. The students come
from different backgrounds and are different ages (18 to
60) and different races (52 percent people of color), with
a 50/50 male/female ratio.
"Hollywood talks about diversity, but Georgia is doing it," Stepakoff says. "I love that we are putting people
to work and changing lives."
The industry response has been extremely favorable.
"Thanks to the Georgia Film Academy's commitment
to training students in below-the-line crafts, we can bring
our productions to the state of Georgia with confidence,"
says Mary Ann Hughes, vice president of film and television production planning with Walt Disney Studios. "We
know that our crew members, especially those trained
(Continued on page 28)
film union, IATSE Local 479 [International Alliance of
Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians,
Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada], and union paid positions.
"We prepare them to be useful, because in this
industry what gets you hired initially is whether you can
do the job. Once you're in, you can learn more skills
and move around or up," Levy says.
Due to high interest at the high school level, the
Georgia Department of Education funded training for 29
high school teachers at the GFA in the summer.
"Twenty-seven of those teachers are implementing a condensed version of the GFA survey course that
meets high school curricula standards and film industry
standards," says Josh Lee, station manager at FCSTV
(Fulton County Schools Cable Television) and consultant
to the GFA. "This elective gives high school students an
opportunity to learn what the actual movie business is
about and to explore film production careers."
Levy expects the number of teachers taking the
training to more than double next summer, as high
school demand is growing rapidly.
As part of an introductory course in on-set film production, Georgia
Film Academy students get hands-on experience using professional
equipment they will encounter in the industry.
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - September 2017
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 3
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 5
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 6
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 7
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 8
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 9
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 10
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 11
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 12
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 13
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 14
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 15
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 16
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 17
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 18
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 19
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 20
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 21
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 22
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 23
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 24
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 25
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 26
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 27
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 28
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 29
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 30
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 31
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 32
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 33
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 34
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 35
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 36
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 37
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 38
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 39
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40A
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40B
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40C
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40D
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 41
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 42
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 43
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 44
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 45
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 46
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 47
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 48
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 49
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 50
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 51
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 52
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 53
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 54
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 55
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 56
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 57
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58A
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58B
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58C
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58D
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover4