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Trade school signs up to produce film workers

Griffin’s Southern Crescent Technical College (SCTC) is about to get in on the action created by the arrival of Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville. SCTC has been approved to create the Georgia Film Institute (GFI), which will provide technical certificates for use in the growing film industry.

SCTC Director of Marketing and Public Relations Anna Taylor on June 4 said the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia approved the first five film and television technical certificates of credit created by Griffin-based SCTC.

“It is the system and state’s first for-credit curriculum aimed at training workers for Georgia’s growing film industry,” Taylor said. “The film and television production certificates include accounting assistant, administrative support assistant, hair and make-up technician, on-set production assistant and production scenic technician.”

Taylor said other certifications are currently being developed for job categories such as grips, gaffers, electricians, on-set medics and food craft workers.

“SCTC will open GFI this fall offering the initial five certificates with additional certificates available in upcoming semesters,” said Taylor. “Scott Votaw, a former Hollywood producer and Griffin native, has been named the executive director of GFI.”

The college held its first recruiting event for the institute in April with over 80 prospective students attending, Taylor noted.

“Every student who receives a certificate will take two basic courses in film, as well as other courses in specific fields of study,” Taylor said. “The basic courses teach skills of film and television production such as terminology and protocols of the industry.”

Taylor said SCTC also plans to begin offering an associate of applied science degree in film and television production by fall 2015.

Commenting on the new ventures, SCTC President Randall Peters said, “We are thrilled to roll out the first certificates for the Georgia Film Institute and to see this project become a reality. With the recent boom in film and television production in Georgia, we are excited to provide highly-skilled and properly-trained workers for this growing industry. With the addition of several production studios to the state, including Fayetteville’s Pinewood Studios in our own back door, we expect the Georgia Film Institute to be an integral component for successful workforce development.”


Couple Questions:

1. Has anyone provided guarantees that the students will be hired with these certificates?

2. Upon earning these certificates, will these jobs be full time or will these people have to constantly look for work after each project is complete?

3. Will these certificate holders have to pay a fee to the staffing agents to get on the list?

4. How much does it cost to earn these certificates?

yellowjax1212's picture

H&T, in the film and TV industry there are never any guarantees - with or without a certificate. These employees will be contract workers who will complete a project and then hope to hire on to another. It's a feast or famine type existence but hopefully south metro is positioned to avoid the famine cycle. Until you build up a resume and network of contacts, a certificate of training from a credible school could help move you up the hiring list but it is not necessary to get work in the industry. Like many industries its about who you know.

Yes staffing agencies do take a cut just like a talent agent would but that is usually charged to the production company and not withheld from the crew (but obviously it is all factored into the bottom line).

Let's make some movies y'all.

I knew the answer before I asked the questions. I have a relative in the industry who has never had steady work, even with 15 years in the TV and Movie industry. Its feast or famine.

TV provided him a more steady income, but people have to understand, most shows are filmed in bulk and then go on hiatus. If successful, it may run like this for a few years.

Not sure what the certificates mean to the industry. From what I understand a Grip is an industry name for a Rigger who builds scaffolding to help support cameras. A rigger is a skilled tradesman who goes to school and then apprentices for a few years. A Gaffer is in charge of lighting on set. Not sure what certificates you need to be a Food Service worker, but the on site medics sound like a perfect 2nd job for the fire departments ambulance people or a nurse.

I hope those folks that fork over money to get these certificates weigh the return of their investment. I think you're right when you stated, the hiring is more about who you know.

flwrgrl's picture

Glad to see Southern Crescent Technical College in the news. However, I must correct the headline: SCTC is a Technical College, not a trade school. SCTC is a SACS COC certified grantor of associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates. Students at SCTC or any Technical College in Ga can take 27 core classes that are guaranteed to transfer credit to other colleges and universities in GA. It's a great way to take core classes and save a great deal of money. There are also new Hope grants and low (1%) loans just for students who attend Technical Colleges in GA. Information on all these programs are available thru SCTC, Ga College 411 or your local high school guidance office.

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