For Ginger Steele of Columbus, Georgia’s film and TV production industry provided a new career path in her 40s.
Ginger, now 51, was working in radio when Columbus State University began offering its associate degree program to help people start production careers.
“I thought, ‘This is perfect; this is exactly what I need,” Ginger says.
And when cutbacks forced her radio layoff in 2017, Ginger decided to “jump right into this whole production thing,” she says.
She interviewed for an opening, was quickly given an internship on a Netflix movie “Candy Jar,” and then worked as a production assistant in a growing list of movies and shows, including “Things Don’t Stay Fixed,” “Ozark,” and “Summer Nights,” an independent movie filmed in Newnan. She was Covid Monitor on “Senior Night” starring Rebel Wilson.
She’s hoping to work on a number of upcoming productions in Atlanta. And she wants to bring more work to Columbus, so she and other locals educated through the Georgia Film Academy program won’t have to always make the commute to Atlanta. She’s even writing a screenplay about an urban legend in Columbus involving the Trail of Tears.
Ginger’s love for production has family roots. Her mother worked on the John Wayne movie “The Green Berets” decades ago in the area.
“I love everything about filming,” Ginger says. “It’s fascinating to me that it can all come together to create something great.”