Bite Me...News Bites & Rumors Nov 21

One dog biting the tail of another

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SCAD wants to be among those training Atlanta’s future film and TV pros.  Classes started in April and are already full of eager young minds learning things like Secrets of a Strong First Draft with the Oscar-nominated Kim Krizan, Camera Technique, SFX Makeup, and getting camera system certifications.  Classes cost hundreds, not thousands.  SCAD’s Brantly Watts says, “With proper training, creatives in Atlanta will have the opportunity to reach the caliber that’s an industry standard elsewhere.”  No point in having an inferiority complex.
At least one person disagrees CNN is a bastion of no-racism.  Omar Butcher became the 3rd (that we know of) employee to sue for discrimination.  Omar was there from 2010 to 2015, getting passed over for writing positions several times and being discouraged from getting training – he says.  Last year, he complained in an email to Ashleigh Banfield about an on-air comment she made about African-Americans.  She, in turn, complained he was calling her a racist.  He was fired a day later.  In 2014, the National Association of Black Journalists publicly expressed concern about life at CNN for African-Americans.
Want to gloat about the amount of film business Georgia’s taking away from other states?  Florida ditched its tax incentives earlier this year, and now Fred Moyse, business manager of IATSE Local 477, says the business there is “one step away from dead.”  They don’t have Burt Reynolds to save them this time.  Once #3, it’s not even in the top 20 now.  Florida workers in the industry say a lot of the people have had to move to Georgia.  And I bet they went further north than Valdosta.
Coweta County continues to build itself as Atlanta’s backlot.  Division Director of the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office Lee Thomas says things don’t look to be slowing down at all, so get ready for new jobs, businesses and tourism in the little county Atlanta doesn’t even want to count amongst its metro area.  Lee told the NuLink Early Bird Forum (which I slept through) that it was actually losing the movie “Ray” to Louisiana because of their tax incentives that spurred ours into action.  She said our film industry’s responsible for over 79,100 jobs, with an average salary of $84,000/yr.
Congrats to the Woodruff Arts Center Transformation Campaign, which tapped into our favorite local fizzy drink company and got $10 million more than the goal and over two years ahead of schedule.  Not surprisingly, the new stage at the Alliance when it opens in the Fall of 2018 will be called the Coca-Cola Stage.  No word on if a smaller stage will be called the Diet Coke Stage.
Attention, do NOT panic.  There WILL be another Madea movie.  “Boo!  A Madea Halloween” absolutely crushed it at the box office, providing a total escape from the seriousness of election-talk.  So, Lions Gate has ordered two more films from Tyler Perry, including a Madea, who this time will probably go to Mars.  TP and Lions Gate’s relationship goes all the way back to 2005 and “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”