The Savannah College of Art and Design says it plans a expansion of its film and digital media studio that will make it the largest college movie studio in the country.
SCAD says its Savannah Film Studios will include at 10.9-acre backlot, a new digital stage and three new soundstages. The first stage of the expansion will open this fall with the backlot completed by 2023. The project will also include a building for set design and costume design and classroom space.
Local news outlets report that SCAD also plans a second digital stage to open in Atlanta in 2022.
The Savannah expansion could make the coastal area more attractive for movie, television and video game productions.
“One of the weaknesses we have here is lack of infrastructure. And so, anything that comes along that gives more of those resources and more things that these productions can utilize, that’s a huge benefit and a huge help in rebuilding the industry here in Savannah post-COVID,” said Charles Bowen, Founder of Savannah Film Alliance.
The school’s primary aim, though, is to produce more people who can take part in filmed entertainment.
“That’s going to be a huge draw, I think, and it gives not only Savannah the opportunity to bring in more of these films and television programs, and but it also gives our students an opportunity to work alongside them, because they will be so trained in this very new technology,” Andra Reeve-Rabb, dean of entertainment arts at SCAD, told the Savannah Morning News.
Paula Wallace, SCAD president and founder, compared the project to “the great backlots of movie history.”