Northwest Georgia has become a hot spot for television and movie productions in recent years, including blockbusters such as “The Mule” starring Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper and Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Several production companies have flocked to the area to utilize the scenic backdrops and diverse settings that are offered.
Just in 2021, the historical home in Rome, GA known as the Claremont house was used as the backdrop for an episode of “Stranger Things” and downtown Rome was featured in Marvel’s “Black Widow.”
With a new industry arising in the area comes chances for Georgia Highlands students to get involved. GHC student Grace Hubbard took the opportunity to get involved by signing up to be an extra in a production.
“It’s fun and exciting even if you aren’t looking to become an actor,” Hubbard said. She found the job after seeing an ad on a background casting agency’s Facebook post.
“…there’s so many to choose from. It is a lot easier to make it in than I thought,” said Hubbard. “Most of the jobs you find are paid, so if you’re looking for a way into the business while still making money, this might be a good route.”
Hubbard credits the rise of the film industry in her hometown of Rome as the reason for her interest in trying out background acting.
“I think I would definitely recommend trying it out. Even if you feel like you wouldn’t be interested in it,” Hubbard said. I didn’t think I would be, but it was really fun.”
Hubbard believes if you are an aspiring actor or just a casual film fan looking for a new experience, this is a unique way to get involved.
Another way students can tap in on the growing industry is through classes and pathways. GHC offers pathways in Film Production and Film Studies. Particularly, Film Production offers students hands-on experience in the film industry.
“I didn’t know that there was a film program at Georgia Highlands, but it’s a great opportunity for students who are interested in that industry,” GHC student, Jason Woszczynski, said. “There’s not many schools in the area that have film production studies in our area, and I know it is a big industry in Georgia, so I’m glad that we have one.”
Mary Young is a Rome resident who has worked in the film industry in Atlanta.
“It’s great to see our little town, and even the surrounding area, becoming more prevalent in the world of film and television,” Young said.
She believes that residents of Northwest Georgia can continue to look forward to seeing production crews taking over various local locations in the coming years.
“There is so much potential and beauty in the scenery. It’s good to know that it is getting the recognition it deserves,” Young said.
Young also gave advice for those looking a make a career in the film industry: “Get comfortable with working hard and get used to hearing a lot of ‘no’s.’ It is a lot of long days and nights, but it is rewarding to see the end product and know that you had a hand in it. Even if you think your contribution is small, every single job matters and has an impact.”
For more information about the film department at GHC, and the pathways offered to aspiring filmmakers, visit film.highlands.edu, or contact Seth Ingram at [email protected].