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ATLWOOD: How to Get Involved in the Georgia Film Industry

The Georgia Film, Television and Digital Entertainment Tax Credit has been offering a huge tax break for filmmakers (a base of 20% with up to 30% if the finished product includes the Georgia peach promotional logo), which has led to a huge influx of film and television production within our state’s borders. Thanks to the development of “Atlwood”, we Georgians no longer have to dream of moving to L.A. in order to catch a glimpse of our favorite actors; with all the filming going on, it’s possible for Nicole Kidman to be at your local Starbucks and The Rock to be at your gym! 

What a life! But you might be asking, “How do I get to be on a set with -insert celebrity name here-?” Whether you want to act, work on the crew, or just do it for fun, there are a few ways for you to be involved with production every now and then that’ll give you some great stories to tell at the next family gathering:

1. Be an extra

(All of the people walking around the actors are extras!)

There are oh so many ways to be an extra. As long as you have a Facebook account, an email and a reliable mode of transportation, you have all you really need to be an extra! My best recommendation is to hop back onto ye ole Facebook, say hi to that one family member that keeps sending you “pokes” and then search for extras casting companies. Here’s a few I have personally worked with: Casting All Talent, Rose Locke Casting, Central Casting, Tammy Smith Casting, and Casting TaylorMade. 

Side note: If you want to stay on top of these companies’ posts, go to each page, select notifications, and then set them as “see first.” Now, whenever you check into Facebook, you will see their posts first on your news feed!

PSA: Being an extra isn’t all glitz and glamour. It can be at times, but it is work and the hours are demanding, so be sure when you sign up to work that you have the whole day completely free and that you arrive to set early (and on time at the latest)! If you’re lucky, though, you’ll be able to see yourself when the finished product comes out in theaters/on TV!

2. Work on a student film

(Sort of like Dawson’s film in Dawson’s Creek, but hopefully yours will be be a bit more official and have a larger crew than one person)

I know, I know, Nicole would never be on a student film, but hear me out. Student filmmakers tend to make a career out of this whole filmmaking thing, so once they graduate, they’ll want to work for the bigger productions and if they hear of another opening, they’ll be more likely to recommend someone they know can do the job and do it well. 

3. Work on the crew

Now, this one requires a bit more of knowing someone who knows someone, especially if it’s on a higher budget, brand name film but generally a job as a production assistant (a PA in film lingo) shouldn’t be too grueling to find if you put in the right amount of research. Since this job is a legitimate position on the crew, this type of work is more suitable for someone looking to start a career in the industry.

So, if you want to get started in Georgia’s own ATLwood and are looking for something that has a short time commitment, being an extra would be the best route to travel down—if you’re looking for experiences that’ll help you get trained for a career in the industry, you should seriously consider being an extra (this gives you a glance at each department and helps you to start learning the set lingo) and then move on to more “official” experiences like volunteering for a student film and working on a film or TV show’s crew.

Your movie magic future awaits—get started today! 

I am an Entertainment and Media Studies and Film Studies double major pursuing certificates in Interdisciplinary Writing and New Media. I hail from Acworth, Ga, and enjoy writing, pointing out inaccuracies in movies, and binge watching any highly-rated show on Netflix with a healthy five or more seasons. Outside of stressing for grades I need to maintain Zell, I also enjoy being sarcastic and spending time with my friends.    *Yes, that is my high school senior picture. It cost a lot of money; I have no shame. 
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