The Georgia Department of Economic Development lists dozens of film and television productions currently filming in Georgia. It is the job of dedicated teachers like SCAD professor Scott Devine to prepare the next generation of professionals to fill the film industry jobs flooding the state.
“The film industry is already well established in Georgia. We have an infrastructure of studios and support services to make top-notch films here,” says Scott, a film and television professor and owner of Rabid Badger Entertainment. “We see the future of Georgia as a full production hub, from start to finish. Now we have an education platform that is generating filmmakers who are young, hungry and creative.”
Possessing artistic skills and a strong desire to succeed will drive up-and-coming professionals in the film industry, yet they will not make it without a strong foundation of basic skills.
Scott teaches everything from introductory film courses to the graduate thesis film productions, creating sturdy foundations in each course. He instructs his students on how to set up a good shot, how to properly develop a script and format it, how to tell a compelling story and how to behave on a professional film set. On the first day of Film 100, Scott covers what a call time is and the importance of being punctual. There are no excuses on a feature film for arriving late to set.
SCAD film students also learn about collaboration. The students are taught that to be a successful writer, director or producer, they need to understand the roles played by every crew member on set.
“No one is an island, and no film gets made by one person,” says Scott.
Collaboration extends to the relationships they build with each other as well. Take Thang Ho, Vishvesh Bakshi, and Christian Chambers who met at SCAD and developed their student working relationship into a fulltime business. They started HOCA Studio, an award winning production company based in Atlanta. The students have made the leap from learning about the film industry to becoming a part of the industry. They are now creating jobs for others and growing their list of professional clients.
Though the pandemic stopped production for several months, Scott used the situation as a teaching tool, encouraging students to be able to constantly pivot, adapt and find solutions to unique problems in film production. He says the pandemic helped his students learn adaptability and SCAD took advantage of the stop in production to bring in more film industry professionals via Zoom to share their stories with students. The students made connections that can lead to future opportunities on set.
“Students ask me if they need to go to LA or New York after graduation to find work in the film industry,” says Scott. “I tell them that Georgia has so many opportunities, they have the option to stay and grow and become a professional filmmaker in Georgia. We have everything you need right here.”