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Columbus film student making childhood dreams come true

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

“I’ve always wanted to work in film,” says Brandon Marsh. “When I was a kid, my dad cried watching “Schindler’s List” with me. I realized how film had the power to move people. I wanted that power.”

Brandon Marsh

Brandon’s hometown of Columbus, Georgia, didn’t offer any opportunities for developing his film career. So he did what many aspiring filmmakers do. He made some short films on his own. He ran into budget problems and was compelled to work as a photographer at Fort Benning taking student portraits for yearbooks and videos for soldiers. The photography work didn’t satisfy his dreams of filmmaking.

At the end of 2015, Brandon spotted an opportunity. The newly opened Georgia Film Academy was offering classes through Columbus State University. The classes taught students on-set film production skills, gave them knowledge of how the film industry is organized and taught them standard on-set procedures.

“I jumped at the chance. I was one of the first students to sign up for the Film Academy,” says Brandon. “I’d never been attracted to Los Angeles, so it was like a dream come true to have the film industry come to Columbus. I saw how the film industry was booming in Georgia, I felt that the earlier I got into the industry the better.”

After a semester learning about film production from lectures and hands-on experience with filmmaking equipment, Brandon spent three weeks as an intern on the set of “Moon Shine Still.” He worked with the First Assistant Director (AD). Brandon learned how to keep the set running efficiently and safely in the scorching summer heat. Working with the First AD gave him a good overview of how a set is run and each person’s responsibility..

“The Film Academy helped prepare me for real-world films. It gave me a good foundation for working in the industry,” says Brandon. “A film set is a complicated organization with many moving pieces. I knew whom to see to get a job done. Even simple things like knowing the radio protocol helped out quite a bit. It kept me from seeming like an amateur. The Film Academy is a good, cost-effective way to get a foot in the door into the film industry.”

Ultimately Brandon would like to write and direct his own work. He’s currently working on developing his own short films and his goal is to work on features. He continues to get as much experience as he can on film crews and has worked on numerous film projects since his graduation from the Film Academy. “The dream of working on films has been my one constant thought since I was 12 years old.  It’s been a long winding road to get there, but I’m excited to see where it takes me.”


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