Georgia Hollywood Review March 2020

EDUCATION Innovative Film & Television Programs at Grady College Elevate Students at UGA By Tr ac ey M. Hawk i ns

competition regularly receives more than 1,500 entries annually. Unlike most college-level competition entries, Vereen’s script is not simply about her campus roommates’ escapades. Informed by her honors-level coursework in American history and related topics, this serial historical fantasy takes place in 1685 Colonial Rhode Island and boasts an unexpected depth. The central character grapples with the atrocities committed by the colonists, wards off attacks from lurking supernatural forces, and confronts his own insecurities about his identity as a mixed-race individual. Aspiring EMST majors additionally benefit from their natural connection with distinguished EMST alumni, including: • Bonnie Arnold , Co-President of Feature Animation, DreamWorks Animation • Lee Thomas , Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Film Office, Georgia Department of Economic Development • David Kramer , Co-President, United Talent Agency • Brent Fletcher , television writer; current projects include serving as a writer for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC • Kalie Watch , Creative Marketing, Netflix Original Film • Eric C. Baker , Show Design Director, Universal Creative, Universal Studios In addition to the undergraduate EMST program, UGA offers a first-of-its-kind Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree program that features a unique partnership between Grady College, the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, Pinewood Forest (the new Fayetteville community adjacent to Pinewood Atlanta Studios), and the Georgia Film Academy. Destined to make waves in the entertainment industry, these graduate students take classes on-campus in Athens during their first year, then produce projects in a major studio setting next to Pinewood Studios Atlanta during the second year of the program. Charles N. Davis, Dean of Grady College, pledges, “As Georgia continues to grow as a world leader in film and TV production, UGA will help to meet our state’s critical need for world-class writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors and other key personnel for years to come.”

University of Geogia students Lorenzo Cooper and Lucia Vereen

EMST Assistant Professor and filmmaker Booker T. Mattison

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Photo by Sarah E. Freeman

A mong the many film and television programs found on college and university campuses throughout the state of Georgia, the in- novative curriculum of Grady College at the

EMST Assistant Professor Dr. Kate Fortmueller

University of Georgia in Athens places their pro- gram on the highest tier. UGA offers its students, both undergraduate and graduate, a rich and diverse ecosystem full of impressive resources. In addition to the admirable reputation UGA has earned, nationally and interna- tionally, as an educational leader in the fields of mass communications, science, business, law, agriculture, finance, music, and the fine arts, Grady College is home to the Peabody Awards program, the oldest award for excellence in electronic media. Grady College offers two degree programs, which contribute uniquely to the success of film and television production in Georgia and beyond. One is an innovative undergraduate degree program in the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies (EMST). This particular degree develops not only above-the-line creative talent for the film and television industry, but it also produces governmental and academic innovators and leaders who work in, develop policy for, and study media-entertainment industries nationally and globally. UGA’s program beautifully melds applied production skills with the academic study of media and media history. Dr. Jay Hamilton, Head of the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies and Director of the New Media Institute, explains, “Our students gain professional-level skills and experience, but they also gain valuable tools for understanding media-

Photos courtesy University of Georgia

entertainment industries, and for conceiving what stories are worth telling and how best to tell them.” Athens, Georgia, has been a hotbed for creative talent and the entertainment industries for decades; EMST students undeniably benefit from their immersion in this environment. In addition to Athens’ cool factor, however, EMST students also share in the vibrant energy uniquely found here on the campus of Georgia’s flagship major research institution. Students learn from world- renowned faculty who are national and international leaders and experts in their respective fields, and EMST students study with these distinguished professors not only within EMST but also throughout the various university departments ranging from agriculture to history. This significantly deepens the reservoir of knowledge with which EMST students can enrich their own creative work. Despite being a comparatively small and selective program, EMST students’ successes in national collegiate competitions speak volumes about the effectiveness, brilliance, and uniqueness of the program in contrast to other institutions. For example, in 2019 EMST student Lucia Vereen won First Place, Original Television Series Pilot, in the Festival of Media Arts organized by the Broadcast Education Association. This national collegiate

Department of Entertainment and Media Studies, Grady College: www.grady.uga.edu/academics/emst UGA MFA in Film, Television and Digital Media: www.mfafilm.uga.edu

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