Clayton State University's Digital Media Center has developed a fast-track training program designed specifically to address Georgia's growing need for trained workers to support the surge in film jobs coming to the state.
Digital Media Center Director Barton Bond sees the Georgia film industry in a "boom town" condition.
"The rapid growth and development of not only the production aspect of the film industry, but the related influx and establishment of related businesses has created a demand for skilled labor against a shortage of appropriately trained workers," Bond said. "This is a classic economic development model, seen in the gold rush and oil boom in the American West in the 1800s and recently in the oil shale lands in North Dakota and Wyoming.
"It is critical for the state to not only feed this growth, but to establish Georgia in the minds of film and digital media industry leaders as a place that is prepared to grow."
With those goals in mind, Clayton State University began offering a two-course, six-month Digital Film Technician Certificate program in February. The program enrolled 84 students for the first class and just started the second-level class session in June with 52 registered.
"From our first class, we already have 20 students who have worked or are working on regional productions; our first student was admitted to the state film union last month; and another student is in Delaware as a paid crew member," says Bond.
Also in response to the needs of students, the Digital Media Center has developed a package of information related to financial assistance.
"We will offer a two-part payment plan for the two courses in the Digital Film Tech Program," said Bond "In order to make the classes accessible to more people. In addition, we also can provide information regarding Sallie May, Veterans' Benefits and the Workforce Training Initiative for those who qualify."
According to Bond, Clayton State is also planning to offer courses and programs designed to support other aspects of film and digital media.
"We want to offer a broad approach to training not only on-set film workers, but also in several related areas, including digital editing, special effects, story-boarding, animation, wardrobe, set construction and production office skills," he said. "To really grow and establish a solid digital media industry, the state must have a capable workforce that can service several aspects of this business."
In addition, Clayton State is conducting an information session focused on upcoming and future courses on Saturday, July 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Harry S. Downs Center on the main Clayton State campus; 2000 Clayton State Blvd., Morrow.
Visit www.clayton.edu/digital-media-center or call (678) 466-5112 for more information.
A unit of the University System of Georgia where dreams are made real, Clayton State University is located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.