Colquitt, Georgia-- An actor turned economic developer is building a sound stage in Miller County to bring jobs to the region.
Lights, camera, action; the big screen is coming to the small city of Colquitt. "I was able to raise money from the Federal and State Government to build a 22,000 square foot sound stage," says Southwest Georgia Film Commissioner, Ralph Wilcox.
Wilcox is using decades of experience on screen, "I have been in show business for the last 30 years as an actor," he says, and a new passion for economic development to foster job growth in South Georgia.
"Cameras, lights, makeup, script writing, acting, coaching, you name it. I knew that Southwest Georgia had just tremendous, tremendous opportunities for the TV and film industry. It was just a question of exposure. I had a business plan, which was basically to create a training program," says Wilcox.
Mission accomplished. Wilcox now has programs at Darton College and Bainbridge College. His students will be the future of his sound stage. "Many of them I've trained I've been able to turn around and put them to work," says Wilcox.
Some on the six projects Wilcox already has slated for his sound stage, and at his faith-based film festival in June, when the sound stage will be done. "We're going to use about five or six counties that will be staging venues," says Wilcox. That expense will filter back to each of those counties.
Wilcox is planning on using his contacts in show business to help bring projects to the sound stage. It's expected to cost more than $500,000, without equipment.