What is the Georgia Film Academy?
The Georgia Film Academy is a professional organization, a unit of the University System of Georgia, which is committed to leading and advancing the entertainment arts industry and its workforce in Georgia. The GFA promotes rigorous professional training, and supports opportunities for union-covered film and television production craft internships and placement in creative industries, apprenticeships and jobs in an effort to build a permanent and sustainable industry in the state. On behalf of the USG, TCSG, and their institutions, as well as private higher education institutions in Georgia who choose to use its resources, the GFA is dedicated to the development of both Georgia's workforce and the industry which will utilize it.
As a student in the Department of Communication's Georgia Film Academy Program, you'll have the opportunity to:
- Learn from professionals in the Film, Television and Digital Entertainment industries
- Take classes at an industry hub facilitated with a package of professional-level equipment
- Participate in on-set, hands-on experience and simulated "real world" projects, coupled with in-classroom course work
- Work hands-on with professional production equipment (cameras, sound gear, lights, etc.) as well as production trucks and generators on studio soundstages
- Apply for an internship or apprenticeship on a major film production set, television studio, editing house or digital entertainment lab in order to develop recognized film credits, through partnerships with professional productions
- Receive one-on-one job counseling to include resume preparation, job research and job placement outreach from GFA
- Earn any of three Georgia Film Academy industry certifications, recognized by production
companies, studios, networks, vendors, and other entertainment businesses which may
- Film & Television Production Certification
- Film & Television Post-Production Certification
- Digital Entertainment, Esports & Game Development Certification
For more information about the Georgia Film Academy, please visit the Georgia Film Academy website.
Professional Training in the Crafts of Filmmaking!
The film industry in Georgia is booming - currently ranked third in the nation and fifth in the World for number of productions (behind only Hollywood and New York). Industry growth over the next 3-5 years is projected to generate 3,000 - 5,000 new jobs in Georgia, most of which are on the set. The average earnings in these jobs are $84,000 a year.
However, getting into the industry is not easy. On-set film workers need a very specific set of skills attained by working on industry-standard equipment as well as experience on professional productions.
The GFA is a unique-in-the-nation, state-wide effort which will provide you with:
- Multi-disciplinary training by professionals in the film, TV and new media industries.
- In classroom course work coupled with on-set, hands-on training.
- Opportunity to work on "real world" projects in order to develop recognized film credits, through partnerships with professional productions.
- Hands-on instruction and training working with a package of professional equipment (cameras, sound gear, lights, etc.) as well as production trucks, generators and sound studio space.
- One-on-one job counseling to include resume preparation, job research and job placement outreach.
What kinds of jobs does the GFA training prepare you for?
Entry-level positions both on set and in production offices.
- On Set Production Assistant (PA)
- Art: set dressers, props
- Hair/Make-up/Wardrobe procedures
- Sound: mixer, boom operator, utility
- Camera: operator, camera assistants (1st and 2nd)
- Electric: on-set lamp operators
- Grip: on-set, dolly grip
- Locations: managing
- Craft Services
- Script Supervision procedures
- Video Assist
- Office PA
The Department of Communication
Columbus State University’s Department of Communication is the largest program in the College of the Arts with more than 300 majors. Its innovative curriculum and outstanding faculty made it a natural partner for the Georgia Film Academy in delivering the film production certificate. All faculty teaching in the program have industry experience and have received additional training from the Georgia Film Academy so that they are Master Teachers in the field.
Georgia Film Academy Certification
The following is an outline of the required courses for the Georiga Film Academy certification. Please see our online course search to see when these courses are offered at Columbus State University.
18 CREDIT HOURS
GFA Course #1
GFA Course 1 - Introduction to On-Set Film Production
This course is the first of an 18-credit hour certificate program which will provide an introduction to the skills used in on-set film production, including all forms of narrative media which utilize film-industry standard organizational structure, professional equipment and on-set procedures. In addition to the use of topical lectures, PowerPoint presentations, videos and hand-outs, the course will include demonstrations of equipment and set operations as well as hands-on learning experiences. Students will learn: film production organizational structure, job descriptions and duties in various film craft areas, names, uses and protocols related to various pieces of professional on-set film equipment. Students will also learn, through lecture and exercises, how the various film crafts relate to one-another on a working set, as well as how and why they all must operate in sync. In addition, students will learn skills related to networking and self-marketing.
Two of the Following Courses:
GFA Specialty Craft Course: Lighting & Electric
This course is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge of electrical distribution and set lighting on a motion picture or episodic television set in order to facilitate their entry and advancement in the film business. Students will participate in goal oriented class projects including power distribution, set protocol and etiquette, properly setting lamps, department lingo, how to light a set to feature film standards, motion picture photography, etc. A large emphasis will be placed on set etiquette including, but not limited to, attitude, professionalism and technique on and off set.
GFA Specialty Craft Course - Grip & Rigging
Grip & Rigging is an introduction and orientation to the practice of rigging and supporting grip equipment, cameras, vehicles and other physical/mechanical devices. In addition to a gaining a thorough knowledge of the equipment used in grip and rigging, students will engage in on-set exercises in inventory, maintenance, set-up, trouble-shooting, teamwork, set protocol and safety.
GFA Specialty Craft Course: Set Construction & Scenic Painting
This course is designed to equip students with entry-level skills and knowledge of set construction for the film and television industry. Students will participate in goal oriented class projects including reading blueprints, set safety, use of power tools, carpentry, scenic paint and sculpting. A large emphasis will be placed on set etiquette including, but not limited to, attitude, professionalism and technique on and off set.
Introduction to Special Makeup Effects
This course is designed to provide students with entry-level skills and industry-standard based knowledge in practical Special Effects (SFX) Make Up for major film and television production. Students will participate in goal-oriented hands-on class projects including fabrication, material safety, casting materials, professional make-up, sculpting , airbrushing, and design. A large emphasis will be placed on set etiquette including, but not limited to, attitude, professionalism and technique on and off set.
Post Production: Film & Television / AVID Editing, Digital Imaging & Story Craft
This course is designed to certify students with Avid Media Composer User Certification, a credential recognized world-wide as the industry standard for assistant editors in feature films and broadcast television. This course will equip students with a unique skillset and knowledge of industry standard digital imaging, editorial process and story forging on both motion picture or episodic nonlinear productions. At the end of the course the students will be qualified to advance a career in entertainment post production of film and television. Successful completion of the coursework will award students Avid Media Composer Certified User 100 certification.
GFA Film & Television Production Internship
Upon successful completion of GFA Course 1, the GFA Film & Television Production Internship course is a 6-hour option as part of the 18 credit hours needed for the Georgia Film Academy (GFA) Certification Program. The course is designed to provide students with a basic level of on-set film production skills, knowledge and experience with film-industry standards, organizational structure, professional equipment and on-set procedures by giving students hands-on experience on the sets and offices of working film productions and businesses. Students will also have an opportunity to network and to build resumes in order to help market themselves with the intention of integrating into the film industry as entry-level workers.
All productions will be conducted under the auspices of a professional production entity, production company studio or film business. All aspects of on-set and production office activities will be conducted at a level of professional standards common to the film industry. Particular emphasis will be placed on safety and the recognition and application of industry-standard safety practices.
While some of the GFA Internship course will feature a more in-depth analysis of the various production crafts, the bulk of the course will focus on professional-level projects, on which students will have active roles in on-set and production office crafts. The Internship is a competitive program dictated by the amount of available on-set internship opportunities. Internships are NOT guaranteed to anyone.
This course is designed to prepare students to work in the production office, specifically in Production Accounting. Students will learn the fundamentals production accounting for the film and television industry, including hands-on experience managing the finances on a production and maintaining accurate budgetary records. This course will introduce and examine the relationship between the production accounting department, the producers, the production office and set. The use of industry standard software will be demonstrated, followed by several hours of students practice/hands-on experience with the software.
GFA Production Certification
How to Register
Students that are currently enrolled at Columbus State University can register for courses through MyCSU. For more information, please see our guide for registering in MyCSU.
The GFC semester schedule follows the eCore Common Academic Calendar.
For questions regarding classes at your institution and how they work within your degree programs, please see the contact section for more information.
For questions or more information about the Georgia Film Academy, please contact Academics Coordinator Emma Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org.
How the Georgia Film Academy Program Works
We have a team of enrollment professionals designated to work with you when you have questions about the program, the enrollment process, and registering for classes. This team will walk you through the whole process and coordinate your experience so it is as easy as possible! Call 706-507-8883 or email your questions and contact information to GAFilm@columbusstate.edu.
Applying for Admission to the Certificate Program (Students new to CSU only):
- Apply for admission to the program through the Columbus State University Online Application
- On the "Ready to Apply" page, under "Traditional Applications & Dual Enrollment Application," select the "Undergraduate Application" button
- You will then be asked to set up a log-in as a new user or enter information if you are a returning user
- Follow all instructions, provide all requested information, and submit the $40 application fee. When asked to what program you are applying, select from the drop-down menu "Certificate In Film Production"
- You will be asked to submit proof of high school graduation through having your high school send us official transcripts or you may provide your GED. You may be asked to take a placement test depending on your situation. For this certificate program, no standardized tests such as SAT or ACT are required for admission
- Your application information will be evaluated on a priority basis, and upon acceptance you will be informed, registered into the first course, and given instructions on how to log into our student online portal MyCSU
- You will be informed of any additional required documentation related to residency and immunizations which may be needed prior to the start of your first class
- The two courses are available at a very competitive, flat-rate tuition rate of $125 per semester hour plus a $265 institutional fee per semester. Please note that students concurrently enrolled in other programs of Columbus State University may have additional mandatory fees in addition to the institutional fee and normal tuition associated with their enrollment, and will be subject to additional tuition charges if the student’s total course load exceeds 15 hours due to scheduling these courses.
- Therefore, for students only taking the film certificate courses, the first course in the certificate program which is 6 semester hours of credit taken in your first semester, costs $1015 total ($750 tuition plus $265 institutional fee), due before the first day of class.
- The second course and final course in the certificate program carries 12 semester hours of credit, and for students only taking the film certificate courses, costs $1,765 total ($1,500 tuition plus $265 institutional fee), due before the first day of class.
- Please note that at this time it has not yet been determined whether students classified as out-of-state under University System of Georgia regulations would be subject to additional tuition charges.
- Upon registration into a course, the tuition charges will be added to your student account which you can view through our student online portal MyCSU. Instructions for payment options are available on the CSU Bursars' Office website. You may also pay in person at the Bursar's Office in University Hall on the main campus of Columbus State University
- Residents of Georgia may be eligible for the HOPE grant program.
- Other payment and aid options with which we can assist you in pursuing include private educational loans and please note that all lenders offer loans for students seeking a certificate except Discover), a University System of Georgia-approved payment plan, and our institutional short-term loan program. Ask your enrollment representative about these options.
- Please note that this program is not currently eligible for VA benefits, federal student aid, nor University System of Georgia Tuition Assistance (TAP).