New master’s program in cinema, television and digital media at UGA | Arts & Culture

The University of Georgia and the Georgia Film Academy have teamed up to launch the first Masters of Fine Arts program in Film, Television and Digital Media at UGA, according to a recent press release. The program started this fall and is currently accepting applications for fall 2021.

According to the statement, the program is expected to be taught by a roster of industry professionals, including “Watchmen” screenwriter Damon Lindelof and “The Man in the High Castle” director David Semel. Students involved in the program will spend their first year in Athens. In their second year, they will be able to create projects at Trilith Studios, which is the second largest specialty studio in North America.

Jeff Springston, associate dean for research and graduate studies at UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, said the idea was discussed with GFA five years ago.

“What we’re trying to do is produce talent above the line so that, at the end of the day, we come up with a complete media ecosystem in Georgia,” Springston said.

Above the Line talent refers to the people who influence or guide the creative process behind a movie, such as a director, producer or screenwriter. GFA has previously been involved in promoting below the line talent or people who help with the production of the film, such as cinematographers, boom operators and costume designers, according to the GFA website.

Springston said that while the program will focus on above-the-line careers, students will learn both areas so they can produce a film on their own.

Springston also said those who have joined the program should expect to work very hard. The program lasts two years and students can expect six consecutive semesters of work and production, Springston said.

The students will be producing a film every semester during their freshman year, Springston said.

“We’re still working on something,” said Cullen Gray, a first-year master of fine arts student in the program. “Doing a lot of pitching at the start, because of COVID[-19] it is more difficult to get things done.

Despite the challenge, the students involved in the program expressed their enthusiasm for their tasks.

“It was awesome. It was very convenient, which is very nice, ”said Elise Nation, a former UGA who participated in the program. “We’re going to Norcross and we’re working on a real soundstage. We’re working with the equipment itself, which is really nice, because a lot of it is intimidating. “

This MFA is part of Georgia’s more than 40-year history of trying to establish a stable film industry within the state. As Georgia’s future in the entertainment industry is still being shaped, Springston expressed optimism.

“Honestly, I think the future is pretty bright,” Springston said. “The tax incentives and so on that were put in place several years ago have worked really well, so this is a place that the industry considers a friendly and supportive place.”

Applications for the program are currently open until December 1 for the fall semester 2021.

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