GPTC launches program offering television, film training

7/25/2014, 7:21 a.m.
GPTC President Jabari Simama (third from right) gets help cutting ribbon on new Design and Media Production Technology program in Clarkston.

Georgia’s burgeoning film, television and music industries are looking for skilled high-tech production workers, and Georgia Piedmont Technical College officials believe they’ve found a way to fill the demand.

Dr. Jabari Simama, GPTC president, said Thursday that Georgia is the “Hollywood of the South,” DeKalb is a center of creative activity, and the Clarkston-based college is ready to train workers to star in it.

“In 2013 alone, DeKalb County had more than 14 movies, 13 television series and eight commercials,” he said. “Additionally, DeKalb is home to over 300 businesses related to the music industry,”

Simama, staff and county officials unveiled the Design and Media Production Technology program at its state-of-the-art production facility on Indian Creek Drive. It is offering courses in motion graphics, Web interface design, computer animation and graphic design.

Beginning with the 2014 fall semester, students will learn video, lighting and audio production skills in the TV studio and explore the technical side of the recording industry in a recording arts technology program. Graduates will receive associate degrees in Design and Media Production Technology or Recording Arts Technology. More than 100 students are enrolled and the program can accommodate up to 500.

Over the past 18 months, GPTC has partnered with industry executives to educate workers about opportunities in high-growth media tech fields. Simama said GPTC is hoping the media training will make the college competitive.

“Just like the job market is competitive, so is education,” Simama said. “We’re trying to stay relevant.”