April 26, 2016 – The Georgia Film Academy (GFA) cut ribbon on its brand new “Soundstage A” at the Pinewood Atlanta Studios location.
The 15,860-foot soundstage coincides with GFA’s “Semester On Set” initiative, giving students access to a 10-week course both at the soundstage and on campuses throughout the University System of Georgia (USG) and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). According to Brian Cooper of the Pinewood Studios Group, the soundstage is an exact replica of Pinewood’s two stages, giving participating students a true real-world experience working on a soundstage.
Special guest speakers at the ribbon cutting included Jeffrey Stepakoff, executive director of the GFA, who lauded the GFA as one of the current top five film programs in the world; Henry M. Huckaby, Chancellor of the USG, who marveled at the soundstage and its benefit for students “as they learn the handson details” of the industry; Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of the TCSG, who echoed Huckaby’s sentiments on behalf of the TCSG; Dan Cathy, C.E.O of Chick-fil-A, who prayed that “the next generation of Steven Spielbergs and Ron Howards would step foot on this stage” and called the event “just a sampling of things to come;” Mark Williamson, C.E.O of Group VI Construction, who helped build the soundstage; Teddy Dicks, a student of the GFA; and Cooper, who asked that we all “take pride in that Georgia Peach” in the credits of Georgia-produced films and shows.
GFA is a collaborative effort of the USG and TCSG supporting workforce needs of the film, television, and digital entertainment industries. The academy will certify workforce ready employees in needed areas, connect students and prospective employees with employers, and offer a unique capstone experience for students to provide them a path to employment in Georgia.