Screen Artists Co-op to offer professional film crew training course, open house Feb. 2

Press release

From Screen Artists Co-op

(ASHEVILLE, N.C.) ­­- Screen Artists Co-op (SAC), an organization of film industry professionals in Western North Carolina whose mission is to train and mentor actors, content producers, crew and other industry professionals, will hold an open house for those interested in learning more about training for a career in film production.

The open house is Feb. 2, 6-9 p.m., at Story Point Media, located at 2002 Riverside Drive, Suite 42-P, in Asheville. The event will provide information on SAC’s film crew training and certification course, which starts Feb.10.

Co-op founder Jon Menick, a veteran screen actor with recent featured roles in Lifetime’s “The Anna Nicole Smith Story” and the ABC network primetime hit ”Nashville,” will host the open house and provide information on the Screen Artists Co-op and its vision for creating opportunities for qualified professionals in the southeast region.

SAC’s crew training courses, which aim to provide practical knowledge required for introductory positions on feature films in the grip, electric and camera departments, will be taught by James Suttles, of Brevard, whose latest projects include the feature film “Reunion 108” (based on the life of Major Leaguer Billy Sample) and the upcoming terror thriller “The Manor.”

“James’s years of experience as a producer, director and cinematographer on films with budgets from $250,000 to $8 million will provide a true working knowledge of the fast-paced, in- the-trenches approach to successfully create ‘the vision’ for a film,” said Menick. “At the end of the 10-week course, each student will depart with a clear, hands-on understanding of making a film from the bottom up.”

“The way to build a career in the film world is to get yourself hired in any position on a set and network,” said Suttles. “The Screen Artists Co-op is dedicated to increasing the level of talent in our area so our actors and crew members can compete for the multitude of available major film and TV roles and jobs.”

With North Carolina’s 25 percent refundable tax credit for film projects spending at least $250,000, and the buzz created by “The Hunger Games,” shot primarily in Western North Carolina and grossing more than $686.5 million worldwide, the WNC Film Commission supports SAC’s efforts to build and maintain a competent film crew base, said Scott Hamilton, president and CEO of AdvantageWest. The WNC Film Commission is one of AdvantageWest’s five job creation initiatives.

“North Carolina experienced record-breaking years for the film industry in 2011 and 2012, which provided more than 7,400 well-paying crew positions. We fully support the Screen Artists Co-op in their efforts to provide industry level training that could increase the potential for projects in the AdvantageWest region,” said Hamilton. “We share a goal to expand the capacity and volume of filmmaking in the region, thereby enhancing economic opportunities here in Western North Carolina.”

For more information on the open house and SAC’s other activities, call (828) 808-2468.


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