Columbus filmmakers excited about CSU's new film training

Columbus filmmakers excited about CSU's new film training

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Only three schools are sanctioned by the Georgia Film Academy to provide on-set film certifications, and on Thursday CSU announced they are among that list.

Through a partnership with the Springer Opera House and the State of Georgia, courses for the new certification will be offered for the first time by CSU in January 2016.

The film industry in Georgia is striving with "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2," "Ant-Man" and "The Walking Dead" being a few of the films produced in the state this year, but independent filmmakers in Columbus say most of the action is happening in Atlanta.

"Majority of my crew they come out of Atlanta," says Ty Manns, owner of CME Films based out of Columbus.

Manns has produced several films in the area including "The Wish," a film that promotes the importance of being an organ donor, but other filmmakers in the area agree that when it comes to creating a good film, it's hard to find good help in Columbus.

"The challenging thing is being in Columbus and looking for great camera operators, or great sound guys or great light grips," said Bobby Sampson, who owns Trilogy Production Studios. 

"Not only will the students be able to get a certificate in film production, but these courses will also count towards an associate's degree in communication and a bachelor's degree in either communication or theater," said Richard Braxton, Dean of CSU's College of the Arts.

Braxton says once students complete the two on-set film production courses they get a certificate in film production from CSU that can be taken to the GA Film Academy. This will give them certification to work on any TV or film set in the country and certification to join the union.  

The film industry has a $6 billion economic impact on the state of Georgia, making it the third biggest state when it comes to film production. According to Visit Columbus, the state's generous film tax credits are drawing film makers in from Hollywood and New York.

The average salary for someone working in the film industry in 2015 was $84,000,  and CSU officials expect their students to be eligible for jobs paying $45 an hour after receiving their certification.

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