The college offers a course in Film Pre-production in conjunction with the performance and media arts program, South Arkansas Community College also offers courses in scriptwriting, editing and postproduction , songwriting, and internship . These courses can be combined to offer unique opportunities for students to see their creative ideas displayed on the silver screen. It is a rare opportunity for someone to have their own movie produced.
The film instructors are Larry Powell, director of the Performing and Media Arts program at SouthArk Community College and instructor Paula Kaszuba. Together they have produced and directed dozens of movies which were award-winning. They received gold, silver, and bronze recognition in international film competitions. Both Powell and Kaszuba have played minor roles in Hollywood movies and have connections with the industry.
The classes are designed to produce feature films, documentaries, or film shorts for national and international competitions. Students writing these projects will also be invited to produce these scripts . Students will be armed with the skills to write for the media. These scripts also can be submitted for competition in national and international film festivals. The courses train students to prepare marketable scripts for local stations where jobs are available. Students will prepare treatments and movie trailers which can be submitted to producers for consideration for movies. The first documentary from SouthArk will be premiered in September in El Dorado. The title is, "Hands that Formed a Nation." It features World War II veterans from South Arkansas. Veterans included; Gearold Boyd, N. K. Callaway, George R. Crosley, Jr., Julius Elmore, Hubert Glenn, Bill Howard, Ella May Hughes, David James, James Doyle Jones, Earl Phillips, Othar Smith, Jack Turner, and John Wood. SouthArk professor, Suzanne Wache offered post war Germany stories. This documentary has been entered for completion in film festivals in Arkansas.
The film industry is gaining interest in South Arkansas our neighboring state, Louisiana is the third largest film producing state in the world next to California and New York. Arkansas possesses the same qualities and in many cases more natural resources. It is the goal of South Arkansas Community College to gain a foothold as a major film producing state. It is within our grasp and very probable. Powell and Kaszuba were instrumental in establishing Louisiana as a major film producing state in the last fifteen years. Powell says, "Arkansas is in a prime position for this industry to be realized. And El Dorado's initiative is encouraging. It is an industry that can affect many businesses in El Dorado. When a film is being produced in our city, the crews eat at restaurants, stay at motels, rent homes, buy building supplies, rent and buy cars, buy groceries, hire electricians, plumbers, and carpenters, and hire various workers. And besides all that, it is an exciting field in which to work! When El Dorado becomes a production city, there will be a constant hum of jobs in the area. There will no longer be a need to move to Los Angeles or New York to be involved in the film industry and to use one's creativity."
There are several courses being offered this fall to prepare the prospective filmmaker for jobs.
Other courses include:
- COMM-1013.01. SCRIPTWRITING,
- COMM-1103.01 INTRO TO FILM,
- COMM-1203.90 AMERICAN CINEMA,
- COMM-1403.01 EDITING & POST PRODUCTION,
- COMM-1603.31 DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY,
- COMM-1703.31 SONGWRITING,
- COMM-2303.21 FILM PRE-PRODUCTION, and
- COMM-2503.01 INTERNSHIP.
An exciting fun field is waiting for you.