New Home for Columbus State's Film Program Opens Following Announcement of New Degree
Columbus State University is embarking on some exciting endeavors to increase opportunities for students interested in film production. Flat Rock Studio, a former warehouse owned by W.C. Bradley Co. and the new home for the Columbus State University's television and film production program, opened today with a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the 180,000 square foot studio located on an 80 acre lot on Jameson Road.
"The servant leaders at W.C. Bradley Co. really stepped up to the need for this incredible facility," said Columbus State President Chris Markwood. "Now our students will have the tremendous opportunity to stay in Columbus and train at a real live production studio."
"We are proud to be part a team that has been working for more than a year on a strategy to help draw the film and television industry to the Columbus area," said Marc Olivié, President & CEO of W.C. Bradley Co. "The growth and economic impact that has occurred as a result of Georgia Film and Television tax credits, primarily in and around the Atlanta area, has been phenomenal and is now approaching close to $9.5 billion annually. Our hope is that Columbus can further participate in this economic growth and support of the film and television industry through the creation of a dedicated Film and Television Fund as well as the formation of Flat Rock Studio. Additionally we once again get to partner with Columbus State University through their affiliation with the Georgia Film Academy in the creation of the Columbus State University Nexus Degree in Film and Production, which will be relocating to Flat Rock Studio."
The new sound stage and production space will not only be a state-of-the-art facility for movie productions looking to film in the Columbus area, but it will also extend an opportunity for students in the Columbus State film program to get hands-on experience in real film and television production. Office and storage space for the university, as well as a classroom, are also housed in the facility.
"Prior to joining W.C. Bradley Co. just more than a year ago, I lived in the Atlanta area and witnessed firsthand the growth and development of what has become one of the largest film and television production markets in the world. I knew the first time I toured our property on Jamesson Road that we had a tremendous opportunity to create something special and transformative for the Columbus area. With just under 80 acres of secluded, private, gated property and more than 180,000 square feet of building space, including 40,000 square feet of office and production facilities and 140,000 square feet of studio and sound stage space with dedicated areas for a workshop, and two separate stages, Flat Rock Studio was a gem waiting to be discovered," said Pace M. Halter, President & COO W.C. Bradley Real Estate.
"We began the transforming the studio about 120 days ago, but had to put the renovation on hold while our first feature film moved into the studio for almost three months of set design, construction and filming. As that production completed filming, we shifted our focus to preparing for Columbus State University to move into their new film school. W.C. Bradley Co. has a long standing relationship with the University and so for us the chance to partner with them was a real "win-win" situation. Our hope is the students will have the chance to work directly on film and television productions that may be filming in the studio as part of their ongoing studies towards Columbus State Universities Nexus degree."
Last week, the University System of Georgia approved the new nexus degree in film production at Columbus State. The nexus degree, with courses being offered as early as Spring 2019, is a 60-credit-hour degree that emphasizes experiential learning.
In cooperation with the Columbus Film Office and the Georgia Film Academy, the nexus degree, is aimed at meeting the qualifications of potential employers and will consist of six hours of degree requirements, in addition to 42 credit hours in general education and 12 credit hours in film industry-based knowledge.
Also this week was the local premier of the film "Still" on Thursday. Following the screening, the audience participated in a Q&A session with writer/director Takashi Doscher and producer Craig Miller. A Georgia Award winner at the Atlanta Film Festival, "Still" was shot on Sweet Home Plantation in Harris County, north of Columbus, and a number of Columbus State University students worked as production assistants for the film.
For more information on the film program at Columbus State University, contact the CSU Department of Communication at (706) 507-8601.