Stautzenberger adds film training courses

‘The jobs are there, Michigan’s film industry is still going to continue. Everything is still rolling in that direction.’
— Roger Kidd
Statzenberger Institute spokesman

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK —There may not be much filmed at Allen Park Studio Center in the coming months, but one of the complex’s tenants is working to redirect the focus to the other side of the camera.

Stautzenberger Institute has added film industry training classes to its offerings.

The classes, which begin tomorrow, were added to reflect the growing Michigan film industry, Statzenberger Institute spokesman Roger Kidd said.

“All the pieces came together,” he said. “The jobs are there, Michigan’s film industry is still going to continue. Everything is still rolling in that direction.”

The complex came under fire in recent months following the departure of Unity Studios in September. The company filmed three feature films in its year at the center and Mayor Gary Burtka once touted its potential to produce jobs and help the city “emerge as the center of Michigan’s growing entertainment industry.”

Kidd said the film industry still has plenty of jobs for trained individuals, and that the college’s new courses will help prepare students adequately for those jobs.

“A lot of companies we’ve been going to continually have frustrations with the fact that they’re having trouble finding talented people,” he said. “We want to give just enough training so that they can get into the field.”

Stautzenberger’s sister school in Madison, Wis., has similar entertainment-based courses.

The classes offered at its Allen Park location are a partnership between the college and Ferndale-based production company S3 Entertainment. S3 launched a similar program in 2008 that placed 90 percent of its nearly 500 graduates in film industry jobs.

The two-week classes will cover 40 hours of training in areas including grip and electric generator operation, introduction to the camera and film special effects.

A class providing an overview of film history also will be included.

“A lot of people want to get into the film industry and don’t understand what all goes into that,” Kidd said. “With this, you get hands-on experience in several different areas.”

Teachers and guest speakers will be industry professionals, Kidd said. Students also will get a chance to visit the set of the television series “Wannabes,” which is housed in the complex, and graduates will be given priority for jobs on the show when it begins filming its third and fourth seasons, he said.