With the school offering instruction in every aspect of filmmaking, SCAD makes a serious case that Atlanta is the ‘Hollywood of the South.’
By Allison Joyner
Some of the films nominated for Oscars this year were touched by the artistry of graduates from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
“Top Gun: Maverick,” “The Fablemans,” “The Whale,” and this year’s Best Picture winner “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” were among the films that had over 150 graduates involved in several aspects of the production, including screenwriting, illustration, production design and sound engineering.
“It’s a moment that we celebrate the incredible dedication that we, as educators and as industry professionals, who mentor our students,” said Andra Reeve-Rabb, Dean of the School of Film and Acting at SCAD. “It’s that combination of those moments that come together to celebrate all of their hard work and the fact that we got to be a part of the start of their journey is why we are doing this.”
For over 40 years, SCAD has provided its students with cutting-edge technology in their labs and studios and the high quality guidance of their professors and administrators in every artistic medium. Its three campuses in Savannah, Atlanta and Lacoste, France, have provided its students with the education needed to pursue some of the creative professions currently and future careers not created today.
Rabb told Saporta Report that if it weren’t for the school’s President and Founder Paula Wallace’s commitment to student engagement, the alums would not be as successful in their chosen fields as they are today.
“There is not a movie workshop, a classroom that she does not come in and is not a part of,” Rabb said. “I would nominate her for an Oscar because she is hands on in ensuring our students have everything they need to succeed.”
The work that SCAD is doing has gotten the attention of Hollywood today.
This year’s Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominee, Kerry Condon, from “Banshees of Inisherin,” has recently hosted a masterclass for acting students. Best Costume Design winner for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Ruth Carter has been a long-time mentor to the school and has used their students to assist her in some of her award-winning designs, and SCAD Film Festival honoree and “Moonlight” director, Barry Jenkins, has invested their time into these students.
“When [Jenkins] was here for our film festival, he fell in love with our students, faculty and facilities that when it was time to shoot “The Underground Railroad” mini-series, he decided to do it in Savannah and Atlanta and used over 75 students and faculty to work on that production,” Rabb said.
With the impact SCAD students and graduates have made in the film and television industry, Rabb explains why the school does what they do.
“For us to be able to look and see these magnificent movies that our students have been a part of is a crowning moment on why we are all here,” Rabb said.
SCAD is the only university to install two LED volume studios — one in Savannah and one in Atlanta — to help prepare students for using it for virtual productions the next day after graduation. READ MORE: SCAD’S XR stage gives students entering film, TV industry a competitive edge
These resources and others have made a massive contribution to helping Georgia become an alternative location for shooting films and TV shows outside of California.
“It should be a great point of pride for every Georgian because of what we are doing as a university to contribute to the tapestry of filmmaking,” Rabb said. “Hollywood is flocking to come to Georgia because everything they need is here. We are putting out these graduates who choose to stay and become a vital part of the Georgia film industry.”
Rabb also said that asking “what’s next” is one of the institution’s strongest points.
“One of our superpowers is that we can take that call-to-action and put our students in line to be a vibrant part of whatever the technology is and whatever is coming next,” Rabb said.
Enrollment for SCAD’s Fall Semester is now open for applications. Click here for more information.