UWG will offer a new film course for students next semester. The creators of the Georgia Film Academy (GFA) came to UWG Nov. 1. Executive director Jeff Stepakoff and Director of Strategic Partnership Greg O’Bradovich came to encourage students to enroll in Film 1000 at UWG.
The class teaches students the ins and outs of working in film production. It is a beneficial course for students wanting a career in film and production. UWG is one of the four universities the class is offered at along with Kennesaw State University, Clayton State University and Columbus State University.
Being that Georgia is becoming the place to be for filmmaking, currently ranked third in the nation and fifth in the world according to Georgia.com/Entertainment, the GFA wants to prepare students in different fields of production. According to Stepakoff, GFA has worked with a number of different television shows and movies.
“We provide sets for the Walking Dead and the Hunger Games movies,” stated Stepakoff.
Many who have already studied the industry still try to come and work for GFA.
“If you want to meet different celebrities and see your work come to life, this is definitely the place for you,” stated Stepakoff.
Stepakoff continued to stress the fact that students who complete the course usually come out with a job and a starting salary of $84,000.
While anyone can register for these classes, GFA prefers students because the industry is always growing. With growth comes traveling. O’Bradvich says that being older and working in the industry takes a toll when you have a family, which is why GFA wants to train and hire students.
“Older students are not shamed out of applying, but students are always on their feet, working more hours. This could take a toll on an older student.” Says O’Bradovich,
GFA is planning to expand to other schools across Georgia, such as the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. Stepakoff stated how desperate they were for students, ensuring them a set salary and the possibility of making connections.
“What we’re trying to do is put Georgia, specifically Atlanta, as an ‘above the line’ community,” stated Stepakoff. “New York and Los Angeles have things such as writers rooms. You haven’t see a writers room in Atlanta.”
A writers room is important because that is where the ideas come from. It consists of different writers spewing ideas for their sitcom or movie,
“Since they’re all in New York or Los Angeles, there should be some in Atlanta, being that all of our production is here,” stated Stepakoff.
With this course, students will go through a session for the semester. After successfully going through the session, they apply for a highly competitive scholarship. The first course allows students to learn basic skills used in on-set film productions.
Dan Kelly, one of the course instructors, states the purpose of these courses is to capitalize on the student’s talents.
“We are focusing on building a foundation around what the students are good at” stated Kelly.
Although the class is offered at UWG, students will have to drive to the Fayetteville Pinewood Studios once a week.