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Lights. Camera. Action! A new MFA program is training the next generation of filmmakers

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In a large house nestled in an affluent Snellville neighborhood, a young woman reclines on a fluffy white sofa wielding a card and a pen. She wears a formal scarlet gown, a matching hat, and a focused stare—like someone straight out of an Agatha Christie mystery—which isn’t too far off.

A voice calls out, “Scene one. Shot A. Take one.” A pair of hands smacks a movie clapperboard, and then on cue, the actress’s stare transforms into a devious smile. Seconds later, this short film’s writer/director calls, “Action.”

In the scene, the scarlet-clad woman pens an invitation to a dinner party inevitably fraught with death, deceit, and, of course, plot twists. After several takes, Katy Warren AB ’20 is satisfied.

“One shot down. A million to go,” says Warren, a student filmmaker in UGA’s new Master of Fine Arts in Film, TV, and Digital Media program. At this point, Warren and her crew, made up of fellow student filmmakers, have spent weeks helping each other on film projects. And Warren is just getting started on the first of several consecutive, all-night filming sessions for her 10-minute short, “Just Another Murder Mystery.”

In an alternate timeline, Warren would be fighting to get ahead at a marketing job in the bustle of New York. Instead, she’s chasing her dream to become a filmmaker—a dream she was ready to give up until a pandemic brought a new opportunity into focus. See this story here.

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