The numbers show that the film program has skyrocketed, which Marker attributes to the growth of the film industry in the state of Georgia and the quality of the school’s program. There are currently 317 students in the film track, Marker said. Film and digital media majors have grown from five in 2015 to 32 in four years.
“Our program has steadily improved in terms of faculty and what we offer. And then, of course, there’s the new Film and Digital Media building,” Marker said. “These are facilities that rival any in the Southeast. There has always been a demand for a program to learn how to produce film and television. But 10 years ago you had to leave Georgia if you wanted to pursue a career and that really makes a difference.”
Being able to stay in Georgia increases the attractiveness of a professional career.
“Film and television production is so diverse. People often think of it as writing, directing, acting, and editing. But the fact is, so many of the skills students in the theater program learn are directly transferable to a film set. Lighting”, rigging, design and technical work also takes place on a film set. It’s very comparable to what’s learned in the theater program,” Marker said.
Films need to be promoted and the skills learned in the communication program are very valuable in the film and television industries.
Aside from film and theatre, the Bachelor of Communication program includes concentrations in multimedia journalism, public relations, and organizational leadership.
The UNG debate team and Vanguard student media, as well as a number of other clubs and organizations, including the Screenwriters Guild Student Film Association, will be housed within the school.
“We house all of these student organizations that complement programs and create additional opportunities for students,” Marker said. “We know that we will enrich the entire Gainesville campus by forming the school.”