Shelby the Falcon. Titus the Rottweiler. Apollo the African Pied Crow. Mangum the European Eagle Owl.
These are just a few of the four-legged and two-winged screen stars that a group of industry professionals met during a recent SCADFILM tour of Welcome Lake Movie Ranch in Newnan, GA.
Over the years, birds, dogs, horses and other animals trained at Welcome Lake have amassed more than 300 screen credits, including appearances in Marvel’s “Ant-Man” and the upcoming “Wolverine 3,” as well as on hit TV shows “True Detective,” “Stranger Things” and “The Walking Dead.”
The excursion to Welcome Lake is a prime example of the many unique educational opportunities afforded by SCADFILM. Participants learned how to ensure a professional-grade production environment for animal actors — while also having a hoot.
The Welcome Lake session covered best practices: Filmmakers must retain proper insurance, meet specific safety standards, and have professional trainers on set at all times. Two trainers are required for shots involving an animal moving from one point to another. Trainers require scripts and story boards well in advance, particularly when specialized preparation is required.
“We’ll break a script down,” said Sid Yost, tour guide and owner of Welcome Lake. “We’re not just animal trainers, we’re also coordinators. We can advise the director and the A.D. staff on a particular shot, how we would shoot it, how we’ll train to set it up.”
Through an ongoing series of sessions like the one at Welcome Lake, along with workshops, screenings, master classes and certification courses, SCADFILM educates creative professionals to become sought-after “above the line” crew members. SCAD students have the opportunity to participate in these high-end technical workshops and unrivaled networking opportunities for free or at a discounted rate.
SCADFILM is a sustainable, outcome-oriented initiative designed to educate and support entertainment professionals and advance the film world on an international scale. The need for skilled creative professionals outside traditional production hubs is increasing along with the rise in the number of film and TV productions taking place in states such as Georgia. In anticipation of this increased demand for talent, the university launched SCADFILM to offer students and professionals from around the world an unrivaled source of industry knowledge, fluency and career preparation. Ultimately, the program will expand the available pool of top-rate creative professionals available to production companies working in these burgeoning markets.
In August, SCADFILM hosted a five-day certification course in Avid Media Composer version 8.6. SCAD Professor Toby Yoshimura, a TV veteran whose credits include “Saturday Night Live” and “The Amazing Race,” led participants through the editing software, a platform used to edit every Oscar-winning film of the past three years.
All 11 participants passed the certification, immediately doubling the number of certified Avid editors available for hire in Atlanta. This sizable increase in Georgia’s pool of certified Avid editors will make it easier for local production companies to find and hire more locally-based workers, further strengthening the state’s $7 billion film industry.
And that’s a number that might even turn the head of Magnum the Owl.
Be on the lookout for several sessions SCADFILM is hosting this month, including:
The Secrets to a Strong First Draft (Sept. 16-19): An intensive screenwriting masterclass taught by Oscar-nominated writer Kim Krizan, whose credits include “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset.” Participants will take their projects from concept to a first draft as they learn about story and character development, dialogue writing and scene construction. Sign up here.
Screening of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (Sept. 23): A screening at SCADshow of the 80s teen comedy classic "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," followed by a Q-and-A session with director Amy Heckerling. Purchase tickets here.
Scales, Slime and Suckers (Oct. 6): After the previous special effects makeup workshop sold out within two weeks, SCADFILM is planning a special encore for October. For this session, veteran makeup artist Ondie Daniel will offer filmmakers helpful tips to recognize professional SFX makeup artists. SCADFILM attendees will also have the opportunity to flex their creative muscles by attempting to replicate the makeup techniques. RSVP here.
Please visit SCADFILM.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.