It's been a long time coming that New Orleans is finally able to embrace an industry that is not completely indigenous to the region. I'll go out on a limb here and say that most folks in this area are predestined to do certain things and hold certain occupations. Without going into the whole social strata debate, let's just say, folks around here need some new opportunities.
Just like the most recent influx of new media, tech, and other industry related jobs, New Orleans has become the South's Mecca for cinema and production. Hollywood South is the real deal and it continues to grow at an alarming rate. Just since Katrina, there have been some truly massive productions established over months and months, and have provided both great temporary and sustainable permanent income for hundreds, if not thousands of New Orleanians.
Little did I know that NOVAC (New Orleans Video Access Center) has played a huge part in the development of Hollywood South. Now of course you can credit the studios and the execs that stuck their necks out to invest in our city, but with the initiatives NOVAC has in place, how can we go wrong.
NOVAC sums up their existence better than I can so here goes :
"NOVAC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to foster the creation and appreciation of film and video for a public of diverse ages, income levels and backgrounds. We accomplish this mission through education, career development, community outreach, independent productions, and special events.
Now in our 37th year of operation NOVAC is the longest running media arts non-profit in the Southeastern United States. Whether you're looking for a new career in the exciting creative industry or interested in developing your artistic potential, NOVAC can help! We partner with many local and national organizations and artists to bring quality media training and special events to the community at affordable prices."
Here's more information on some of their major programs :
The Digital Media Institute (DMI) provides training in emerging and established media tools for individuals and creative professionals. Classes are convenient, hands-on, customizable and affordable and the training is professional quality.
The Louisiana Film Crew Training Program offers training and job placement for people seeking entry-level positions in Louisiana's burgeoning film industry. In addition to sponsoring the Louisiana Shorts Fest, NOVAC partners with youth organizations to bring quality Youth Media Progams where area teens learn media appreciation and basic skills in filmmaking.
NOVAC allows independent filmmakers access to low-cost media and editing paraphernalia through its Equipment Rental program.
In addition to equipment rental, NOVAC offers Fiscal Sponsorship for a low fee where individual artists or groups affiliate can partner with NOVAC to apply for grants and recieve tax-deductible contributions available only to 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
I think the most important aspect of what NOVAC has to offer is the DMI or Digital Media Institute. It gives students the ability to learn in real-time the skills and talents they need to start working in Film/Media quickly and efficiently. The DMI program is unlike anything else with it's focus on providing extensive training in subjects that will make them invaluable in this New Media Economy. For example, a student who attends one of their highly sought after Apple Final Cut Pro Workshops, will not only learn the tricks of the trade and learn form an Elite Pro, but also have the ability through NOVAC to become a Certified Apple Pro. That my friends, is something no one can take away from you.
With the help of NOVAC, anyone can improved themselves dramatically by involving and evolving in an environment that is truly growing by leaps and bounds. This is where the city is heading, and folks here in NOLA will no longer reside in jobs that are pre-destined, but find the ones they were destined for.