Kalena Boller, a location manager from Hapeville, strongly believes in the adage, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Her own career path was influenced by veteran Atlanta grip, Louis ‘Bolaji’ Bailey. As a guest speaker at Kalena’s high school, Bolaji’s stories illuminated the behind-the-scenes world of film productions.
“He gave us the knowledge of what we could be and it blew my mind,” says Kalena. “Because of him, I studied film at Howard University.”
Now Kalena has a spotlight of her own: “The Credits,” Georgia Public Broadcasting’s new podcast featuring Georgians working in the state’s film and television industry. The interviews are also featured on GPB’s daily talk show, “On Second Thought.”
“I feel lucky to have a multi-billion-dollar industry in my backyard,” says Kalena. “I want the film industry to stay, grow and thrive in Georgia. That’s why I started ‘The Credits.’ I want people to understand the thousands of careers and lives affected by the Georgia film industry.”
Like many aspiring film-makers, Kalena felt she needed to move to LA or New York to start her career. Luckily for her, she got a chance to intern on a music video filmed in her hometown of Atlanta. She quickly moved from intern to production assistant to the Locations Department and hasn’t stopped working since in the booming Georgia film industry.
During her career, she’s met many of the small army of people who take a production from concept to the screen. Intrigued and inspired by their stories, Kalena created “The Credits” to highlight the people listed in the credits of films and television shows produced in Georgia.
The podcast showcases the diversity of both people and jobs involved in the Georgia film and television industry. She says she’s doing it for regular people who are curious about the film industry and to show them what’s possible as a career. From security to teachers to medics to caterers, the possible list of careers in the film industry seems endless.
“When we pitched the podcast, there were concerns we would run out of stories,” says Sean Powers, GPB’s director of podcasting. “The opposite is true — there are so many Georgians working in this industry, we have too many great stories to tell!”