When Georgia’s $10 billion film industry came to a halt at the onset of the pandemic, Jeffrey Stepakoff, the award-winning executive director of the Georgia Film Academy, took action. He tapped into the school’s state-of-the-art technology to amp up its online education capabilities and to support a sustainable entertainment industry, Stepakoff and his team developed the first-ever COVID Compliance Course, https://www.georgiafilmacademy.online/.
“The GFA is committed to putting Georgians back to work in the film and entertainment industry through this industry-standard course,” Stepakoff said. “We intend to add value to productions with safety protocols based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health.”
Free to film and television production workers, casts, and crew, the CCC will help push Georgia’s multi-billion-dollar film industry closer to relaunching during the pandemic with a virtual training program of safety and sanitation best practices and procedures for anyone who works on a film set in Georgia.
The CCC holds true to GFA’s founding goal of building a workforce pipeline for Georgians into the state’s growing film industry. The two-part course may be presented entirely online for employees and on-site for producers, showrunners and key personnel. The course is comprised of instructional videos. The first component addresses basic safety and sanitation procedures for working on set.
The second component is a series of shorter, craft-specific videos. Graduates receive certificates of completion from GFA and a handbook of recommended protocols and procedures.
Created in 2015 to put Georgians to work in all aspects of the state’s film industry, Stepakoff and his team have grown the GFA from its initial pilot program of 193 students in three institutions to thousands of students of all ages enrolled in campuses and training facilities in 22 institutions throughout the state.
From content creation, to production and filmmaking, GFA teaches a variety of skills to ensure there is a knowledgeable and educated workforce that can grow as Georgia’s film industry continues to expand into the future.