Film Professionals’ Leadership Panel
The Leadership in the City Spring Series concluded on March 23, 2016 with a panel discussion led by Atlanta film professionals. Leadership Development was delighted to host four prominent figures from the Atlanta film community including: Christopher Hicks, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment; Martin Kelley, Editor in Chief, CinemATL and Co-President, Atlanta Screenwriters Group; Craig Miller, Executive Producer, Craig Miller Productions, Inc. and Governor Deal’s appointee as chair of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Commission; and lastly, Tammy Williams, CEO, Open Rivers Pictures. These professionals shared their knowledge, advice and experiences with the audience.
When Christopher Hicks was asked how a student determines what might be a great internship opportunity versus an opportunity as the office coffee clerk, he encouraged students to take advantage of all opportunities, even if it does involve serving coffee. As a supervisor, he shared that he observes everything an intern does, including how he or she determines the best way to fill orders or manage an office coffee run. He is more willing to provide opportunities to interns who try to figure things out for themselves rather than to those who do not.
Craig Miller encouraged students to take advantage of their lessened responsibilities to follow their passions. Tammy Williams echoed this sentiment when she encouraged students to take advantage of classes or internships which would expose them to a variety of film making processes and industry standards. She shared examples of past experiences such as when she stepped in as a camera operator due to a camera operator’s missed a flight. These type of experiences expose future film makers to all the different roles within film making, making them more marketable and employable.
Martin Kelley encouraged students to share their ideas with others. He also reminded students that the phone is becoming the most popular viewing source. Early in his career Mr. Kelly dreamed of getting on the big screen as a screenwriter. He now realizes that the screens for which he creates media are much, much smaller.