Georgia’s film industry is helping those who served our country find opportunity here at home.
Fueling the organization’s early success is Terrell Sandefur, a long-time member of the industry. His work in casting, producing and scouting, as well as his work on a number of film festivals, helped him recognize opportunities here for veterans.
Terrell has spent more than a decade working in the Macon film scene. His work as chairman of the Macon Film Commission, as well as work with the Macon Film Festival, has sparked relationships and friendships with many people in the industry.
“Relationships lead to opportunity, and I want to share that opportunity with veterans,” says Terrell, who is expanding his work to Atlanta. “It’s my goal to get veterans into all the major studios.”
VGIFT offers training programs and screenings that help veterans transition from the demanding military into the production work. Free training programs through its partnership with Georgia Entertainment Institute’s PACT (Production Assistant Certification Training) has helped VGIFT place veteran graduates in productions such as “I, Tonya” and “Mine 9,” as well as TV shows “MacGyver” and “Dynasty.” Training includes areas such as set etiquette and terminology, set safety, set call outs, lockouts and wrangling.
But the real learning comes on set.
“You can only learn so much in a classroom,” Terrell says. “Through internships, our goal is to enhance their learning right there on set. Most of the time this leads to full-time hires.”
“The Georgia film industry, along with VGIFT, is doing something amazing for veterans in our state,” says Terrell. “The best part is, we are just getting started.”
Learn more about VGIFT at http://www.atlantaveteransassociation.org/VGIFT.html