It’s true that Georgia is about 2,000 miles from Hollywood, but the film and television industries are much closer. In fact they're right here in Georgia. We talk with the people at Meddin Studios in Savannah to learn why film and television are where you'll find Georgia’s fastest-growing job markets. We also find out exactly what jobs are available, how to get started, and why the folks at Meddin love what they do.
In a state where film and television has grown into a $3 billion industry, aspiring film-makers dare to take production to a whole new level.
Um...can we do something about the hand? No? Great.
Welcome to Fast Forward-Hollywood edition. As you just saw, there's a reason they call movie making magic. And that magic isn't just happening in Los Angeles. Heck, if you live in Georgia, Tinsel Town could be as close as your own backyard.
I think it is a misconception that to work in film you have to move to New York or California. That's not really true.
Even a decade ago, your best bet to really break in would have probably been the west coast. Now what we have in Georgia is essentially an extension of Hollywood and Los Angeles.
Does that mean making local films on local budgets?
Just because you're filming in Georgia doesn't mean that you're only working with people from Georgia or actors from Georgia or even filming things about Georgia. We...very international crews, people from all over the place coming to work here.
So Georgia might just be your ticket to the Oscars.
And this is a business built on technology.
Technology is huge in the film industry.
So it'll help to understand the basics of how film works. And it starts with something called Persistence of Vision.
Hooray! It's time for a teachable moment!
That was acting.
Persistence of Vision is the theory that the eye retains an image for a tiny fraction of a second after seeing it. Most films are composed of 24 frames per second-meaning that each second you see 24 individual pictures. And when those frames are put together in rapid succession, along with Persistence of Vision, your brain can interpret those individual pictures as fluid motion.
So how do movie cameras capture those images?
Well not that long ago, it was primarily done with film, which has an emulsion-a sensitive coating that captures light to create pictures-24 of them each second.
But we now live in a digital age with digital cameras. So...Rob?
So you have a sensor, which is basically the same size as a frame of physical film, and the sensor has a scanner basically that scans the image 24 times per second to capture 24 images to play back in fluid motion.
Keep in mind that 24 frames is used for traditional motion pictures. But you can use different frame rates for different forms of entertainment. For instance...
30 frames is really common for a lot of television shows, certain sitcoms and whatnot. 60 frames per second is common to a lot of soap operas, gives a more "live" look because we are essentially getting closer to the refresh rate of our eyes and how we perceive motion in real life.
And shooting at higher frame rates is also a great way to create high quality slow motion.
Okay, now that we have a handle on the technology of making films, how do I get started?
If you're in high school and want to get into film making just get a camera and start shooting. Just start going out and experimenting and playing around with cameras. And you're always going to learn something from every film you do.
If you you're in rural Georgia and you like to write, write. If you're into cinematography, you know be the best cinematographer you possibly can. If you can get something in the camera and you can get something out of the camera you've done 90 percent more than anybody in the industry ever does. You know it's the execution that makes you successful in this industry. You have to want it and you'll know when you get into the industry if you want it or you don't want it.
By the way, that's Nick Gant, and he speaks from experience. He's an owner of Meddin Studios in Savannah, one of the production companies that's taking advantage of this rapidly-growing Georgia industry.
So can someone tell us about Meddin?
Meddin Studios is a pitch to post facility for film and television production. So we manage the beginnings of a project in the way of scripts, financing, project construction all the way to the end to where we are finalizing color correction, the entire post production side and getting it off to delivery for distribution.
And that means Georgia-based jobs in the film industry.
It essentially takes a whole village to make a film, so even things you wouldn't think about being important in film making truly are. You have makeup artists, and hair stylists.
You can be a scriptwriter, there's producing, there's directing, there's DP which is director of photography, there's camera operator, there's assistant camera operator, there's grip.
Then you have the camera utilities and the video village assist, and then you have the DIT's and then you have the DIT assist, then you have the editors and the second editors, then you have the color correctors.
Okay! I get it! That is a whole lot of jobs. And it definitely sounds like an...entertaining business.
Okay, okay. Tell me what you like about making movie magic.
The coolest part about the film industry is probably the camaraderie that follows from the crew and everyone working on the project. It's a bit of a traveling circus.
The great part in the film industry is you could spend 30 days and find yourself the next movie doing something completely different or the next step above. You know you can say you know what I'm not going to work on the 40 million dollar film because I'm just going to be a PA, but I'm going to work on the 5 million dollar film and be the gaffer.
I love just coming up with the ideas and then taking it all the way to completion to where you hit play, and you sit back, and you watch an audience just sort of take in the story that you've created out of nothing.
I think that's why we do it, is to see our stories come to life.
Wait a second. Isn't that what we're doing on Fast Forward? Making great stories come to life? We'll ponder that, and be back soon with another episode of Fast Forward!