A grant recently received by Baldwin High School will give students an exciting, hands-on opportunity not all schools are lucky enough to offer.
The local public high school has been selected to receive a $34,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Education’s Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) division that will assist in creating a television studio right inside the BHS building.
“We are very excited to be offering new television production classes and helping expose our students to the thriving billion dollar entertainment production industry here in Georgia,” said Superintendent Dr. Noris Price in a Tuesday press release. “This grant is going to help us buy the kind of equipment that our students need to really get hands-on experience in this very creative sector.”
This marks just the first year Baldwin High has offered an introductory audio/video production course, but the school district says there is already a lot of interest in the new program. The introductory course allows students to get acquainted with the vocabulary associated with video production, a sector that has a language all its own, but the $34,000 grant will allow them to take the next step as the funds will go towards the purchase of what can be pricey production equipment like cameras, tripods, set design, lighting, software and more.
This new equipment is scheduled to be set up next week inside the high school’s college and career academy wing.
As the superintendent mentioned in her statement, the new course and grant funds will expose interested BHS students to the $9.5 billion dollar film industry (figure reported by the AJC in June) present in the Peach State. The filming boom was created thanks to the amount of tax credits offered to production companies for filming here. As a result, less money is handed to the state directly, but thousands of jobs are created for Georgians. That figure has been reported as high as 92,100, or about the amount of people who fill the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium for a Saturday home game in Athens. In April it was reported that more than 100 television or film projects were actively filming in the state or planning to soon — TV favorites like “The Walking Dead” and the popular Marvel film franchise. Portions of “The Hunger Games” movie series were also filmed in the state while it was ongoing.
Thanks to this state funding, Baldwin High School students could have a leg up over their similarly-aged peers when it comes to finding a job in the film industry down the road.