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Frequently Asked Questions

Georgia Film Academy Certification Program

Are textbooks required for GFA classes?  The craft courses may require textbooks.  Every on-set production student is also required to have a set of “Production Tools”:   

  • “Leatherman”‐type pocket multi‐tool; available at hardware stores or home improvement stores;
  • “Maglite”‐type or LED pocket flashlight; available at the above stores as well as large volume retailers;
  • pair of leather or leather‐palmed work gloves,  
  • pair of closed‐toed shoes  
  • small pocket notebook (for taking notes on‐set in productions). 
  • set of colored pencils;

There will be also be a significant number of background and support hand‐outs that all students will need to download from the internet.   GFA typically uses D2L for distribution.  They will provide the link.

How long is the GFA certification program and do I have to three courses?   The GFA now has 3 pathways:  On-Set Production; Post Production; and Esports.  The entire program takes about 12 months (40 weeks plus holiday time) to complete. Successful completion of  three courses in a chosen pathway is required to obtain the Georgia Film Academy Certification, and a transcript from the Film and Media Center of Clayton State will detail courses completed.    

What does GFA  cover? The first GFA course assumes no prior experience or knowledge of film, with a focus on job descriptions, organizational structure and order of operations divided into 3 pathways:  on-set production, post-production, and Esports.  The introductory courses will build basic skills in the chosen field.   Students will then take 2 craft courses dedicated to the path they have selected.  The GFA internship is available by application only.  Please contact for more information.  

How do I get into the film union?  There are two locals of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) union operating in Georgia: Local 479 (headquartered in Atlanta) covering most of Georgia and Local 491 (headquartered in South Carolina) which covers the Savannah, Georgia area.  If you are able to get on recognized working set(s) for a stretch of time (60 days is typical), you can ask a member of the Local to sponsor you for membership, and you will need one to three additional recommendation letters from industry professionals.  You then submit your application to the Local along with an application fee and membership dues in advance (from$600‐$840).  The general membership then votes on your application. 

Does the program provide job placement services?  The Georgia Film Academy does provide some job placement assistance for its graduates. Additionally, GFA provides a strong path for students headed for on‐set jobs , including union‐member mentoring, networking opportunities, time on working sets, and the development of a professional portfolio. 

Do I have to join the film union to work on film or television projects? If you are a GFA student in the On Set Internship course, no.  However, union membership is a strong path to film employment, so upon completion of the certification, it is encouraged to join. Film, television (and increasingly) high‐end web projects negotiate with the national union for labor contracts and with the union local to arrange for crews. 

What sorts of jobs will the GFA certification prepare me for?  

A. Traditional on‐set film crews, production assistants in post houses, Esports management of tournaments and venues.

B. Other positions:   

         1.  Art Department construction (props, sets, wardrobe) 

         2. Production Office (accounting, general office, pre‐production)  

What is the pay rate for film workers?  Hourly rates for professional workers on major film sets (most commonly union members) range from $13 to $32, depending on the budget of the production and the level of the job.  Note that most productions operate on a 12‐hour work day, with hours over 8/day paid at time‐and‐a‐half.