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Georgia Big Picture Conference: Exclusive Preview

By Shannon Jenkins

April 29-30, 2007
Atlanta Institute of Art

April 21, 2007 (Atlanta)--Novices and veterans of the film and television industry will soon converge upon Atlanta for the second annual Georgia BIG PICTURE Conference on April 29-30.

Approximately 150 people from across the state and the Southeast are expected to convene at The Art Institute of Atlanta, says Nancy Howard, founder and executive director of The Big Picture Film & Video Foundation, which produces GABPC.
Since last November, Howard and a host of volunteer organizers have been preparing for the successor to the first event held in 2005. Their labor has resulted in an information-packed program geared toward future filmmakers, producers, animators, actors, screenwriters, editors, television broadcasters and digital media artists.

"This year we have a few more topics on television - 'Inside Television News' and 'Reality Bites: All about Reality TV Production,'" Howard says of the various session topics planned for the conference. "We also have a special session on mini movie production called 'The Incredible Shrinking Screen: Mini Movie Production.'"

Sessions, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. each day, are broken down into two tracks for beginners and advanced participants, with topics such as "Adventures in Editing for Beginners," "Weapons, Driving and Stunts," "How to Work Effectively with Actors" and "Film, Video and Television Distribution."

More than 40 local and nationally known industry professionals in film, television, screenwriting, animation, editing, and weapons and stunts have been tapped to lead the educational panel discussions and workshops.

"We're honored to have such a great lineup of speakers from the filmmakers of the Atlanta-based feature film The Signal, to the producers and winners of CampusMovieFest, to numerous industry professionals, film educators and attorneys," says Howard, an independent film and video producer with more than 15 years of production experience. "The speakers were selected by our Speaker Committee based on their reputation in their respective industries and availability. Their expertise will be of great benefit to our attendees."

Aside from the new topics, GABPC organizers have added an awards ceremony.

"We're pleased to introduce our Big Picture Awards, where we plan to award one high school film/video instructor, one college professor and one professional industry educator," Howard says. "Anyone is welcome to submit nominations, and the winners will be notified and awarded at the conference during the awards program at the end of the second day."

Among those being honored will be Tyler Perry. Roger Bobb, a producer at Tyler Perry Studios and a GABPC guest speaker, will accept the award.

Another element of the conference is a two-part directors boot camp led by film director and producer Ken Feinberg.

"It is one of the highest rated and successful components of the GABPC and involves exercises to help attendees learn everything involved in directing a film in a fast-track group setting," Howard says. "Part 1 of this dynamic and insightful session includes casting and auditions in preparation for production in Part 2. Part 2 of the Directors Boot Camp involves hands-on production, including set design, lighting, sound, technical direction, director actors, and most importantly, team exercises on how to work together to ensure a successful shoot."

The final piece, she says, is edited during the conference's advanced editing session and then aired at the end of the conference during the closing session and at the student film festival. The student showcase is free to the public and runs from 7 to 9 each night.

For more information about the conference, or to register, visit

(Photos by Joe Howell)