Michel Monty grew up in Georgia, went to college in Florida, then planned to head to California to start a career in film … only to discover there were more jobs back home.
"The infrastructure in Georgia just led to people moving here from Los Angeles," says Michel, a writer and director.
"I'm lucky to be able to do what I love in my home state."
Michel got his start as a production assistant in commercials and worked his way up to location manager, a good fit for someone who grew up in the state where so many productions are now filmed.
"What's cool is so many tent-pole movies are shot here," he says. "That means a lot of investment in infrastructure that other smaller productions can take advantage of — smaller productions sustain the infrastructure."
He cites "Fast and Furious 7" as an example. "They created a set that they're done with,” says Michel. “Now we all can use it."
After working as production assistant and location manager, Michel finally realized his professional goal. He started directing television shows, including true crime stories for Crazy Legs Productions.
A lot of the true crime stories were filmed around Georgia, as was "Still," an indie film where he got the opportunity to work as first assistant director. "Still" was filmed at Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, and students with the Georgia Film Academy served as production assistants.
"I'm starting to direct full time, which was always the goal for me," says Michel, who was recently was commissioned to write and direct a new project that will be filmed in North Georgia.