Students craving the entry point to become a production assistant on a movie set or secure jobs throughout the booming film, television and gaming industry in Georgia — plus aficionados of all ages seeking continuing education about our state’s thriving content businesses — have a central way to sign up and get started learning the trade: The Georgia Film Academy.
Enrollment is open for upcoming classes via the academy’s website. GFA maintains relationships with dozens of institutions of higher learning, so those who participate in classes can get credit toward their degrees as well as toward GFA certification.
Many students taking part in Georgia Film Academy courses, as well as alumni, have landed critical roles on the sets of high-profile productions for films. Success stories abound such as Peighton Williamson on the set of Creed III and Taylor Bahr, who landed an opportunity with the makers of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The GFA faculty includes industry veterans such as Clyde E. Bryan who worked on projects ranging from Back to the Future to Ozark. Plus the classes sometimes feature special guests.
Director Francis Ford Coppola, the man behind American classics such as The Godfather saga, Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders, Youth Without Youth and Bram Stoker’s Dracula lauded the accomplishments of rising filmmaking talent at a recent visit to a Georgia Film Academy classroom, accompanied by Ellie Dean, one of his own filmmaking apprentices.
“All of you have a gift,” Coppola told the class of GFA students in an inspiring Q&A. “And it’s not always the gift you expect!”
The director says he often asks the young people on the set for insights and fresh perspectives. “A great film experience gives me permission to visit a world I never would have known anything about,” he added.
This video, recently developed with some of the successful students who have taken part in GFA courses, further showcases students in action. Check it out and consider sharing with those in your life who may want to get involved in this growing industry.
Since the Georgia Film Academy began operations in 2015, economic activity generated by the film industry in Georgia continues to rise at exponential levels. The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced that, during fiscal year 2021, the film and television industry set a new record with $4 billion in direct spending on productions in the state.
The Georgia Film Academy’s efforts in building a professional workforce able to meet increased production demand is widely regarded to be a primary driver in this sudden and dramatic rise in economic impact on the state. The GFA is widely recognized by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), labor unions, and numerous competing states and countries as “the gold standard” in film and television production workforce training.
The GFA offers industry certifications in Film & Television Production, Post-Production, Digital Entertainment, Esports & Game Development, and helps institutions to develop curriculum and training directly aligned to the high-demand careers that exist in the state. In partnership with IATSE 479 and major film and television production and digital entertainment companies like Disney, Netflix, HBO, Skillshot Media, Axis Replay, and others, professionally-qualified instructors, equipment, and training facilities prepare learners to be assets to the industry following completion of GFA’s certification. Furthermore, with GFA’s unique-in-the-nation internship/apprentice program, students have the opportunity to go straight to work in these industries, which offers a paid, once-in-a-lifetime experience.