Genevieve Hawkins has a theory about success in the film industry: “You don’t need a fancy education. You do need a lot of practice in learning to adapt, finding resources and managing chaos.”
How does she do it? Raising six children certainly contributed. So did coping with her husband’s career shift from military medicine to camera operator and cinematographer.
As a locations coordinator, Genevieve has learned to put her hard-earned skills to work. “There are so many skills that transfer over from job to job.,” she says. “Determination is key to success in any line of work. So is resourcefulness.” In short, she learned how to get her education on the job.
Genevieve and her husband Christian grew up in the Tampa Bay area, but for the last nine years have found a home in Savannah. She started as a production assistant, but soon seized opportunities to expand her skills and experience. “Georgia is the perfect place to do that,” she insists, citing the variety of potential film locations: “Beaches, mountains, historic homes, you name it. We’ve done more Florida scenes here in Georgia than we ever did in Florida.”
They are also attracted to the welcoming environment. “People encourage you and help you when you need it. That helps everyone grow. I love that.”
She’s quick to point out that while the film industry has an aura of Hollywood glamor, most of the actual work depends on blue-collar workers. There again she sees strengths in Georgia. “We have the infrastructure here that filmmakers depend on,’ she says. “But more than that, we have hard-working families who can contribute and therefore benefit from film production.” As evidence she cites the off-duty police officers who can moonlight by offering security services to filmmakers at twice their on-duty pay scales.
Another one of those life skills that drives Genevieve is empathy. “Film production helps every community. We hire local people and buy local goods. I get excited about finding someone else a job. It warms my heart to help people find a route to their dreams,” she says as she pursues her own.