Fifteen years ago, David Nash dipped his toe in the film industry as a set carpenter. Opportunities were scarce — only two or three shows a year — and he held on to his full-time job as a remodeling contractor.
Fast-forward to 2017, and Nash is the owner of his own studio, Wilder Studios, named after his three-year-old son. Wilder Studios, located east of downtown Atlanta, opened in 2015 and has been fully booked since the doors opened. On some projects, his studio space can employ a crew of up to 200 people.
“I was a struggling remodeling contractor during the bad economy, but I got into this business at just the right time,” says Nash, a Decatur resident who worked his way up through the ranks from carpenter to gang boss to foreman to construction coordinator. “I’ve definitely been able to do better for my family because of Georgia’s film industry — and there continue to be more opportunity for more and more people.”
As he built his business in the film industry over the past 15 years, Nash has seen hundreds of people from Georgia’s declining housing industry create new careers as set construction workers — including his foreman, Bobby Williams, who came to the job with 20+ years experience as a home builder. Nash is a member of the union IATSE 479, which represents crew in Georgia and Alabama, and has seen the organization’s membership grow from a few hundred members to more than 4,000.
“We can take scribbles on a napkin, and bring ideas into existence,” Nash says. “With Wilder Studios, I’m invested in this industry for the long-haul.”