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Screen Artists Co-op Starts Talent Agency and Film Crew Training Course; Public Invited to Open House Jan. 9

SAC Acting Class 1
Relaxation exercises are essential to the acting process, says Asheville-based Screen Artists Co-op founder and veteran screen actor Jon Menick, shown here leading students in exercises to relax their jaw muscles. SAC is offering classes for actors and film crew and invites Western North Carolina adults interested in a career in the filmmaking industry to an open house on Jan. 9 to learn more. Photo by Jessy Boswell, courtesy Screen Artists Co-op.

Jan. 3, 2013. Screen Artists Co-op, an organization of film industry professionals in Western North Carolina whose mission is to train and mentor actors, content producers, crew and other industry professionals, will hold an open house for those interested in learning more about training for a career in film. 

The open house is Jan. 9, 6 – 9 p.m., at Story Point Media, located at 2002 Riverside Drive, Suite 42-P, in Asheville. The event will provide information on SAC’s actor training program, which begins on Jan. 14 and is open by audition only, and its film crew training and certification course, which starts Feb. 10. The event and training opportunities are for adults 18 and over. 

Co-op founder Jon Menick, a veteran screen actor with recent featured roles in Lifetime’s “The Anna Nicole Smith Story” and the ABC network primetime hit ”Nashville,” will also provide information on the new Screen Artists Talent Agency. The goal of the agency is to submit students who are enrolled in the SAC acting program for roles in film and video projects.

“We are dedicated to increasing the level of talent in our area so our actors can compete for the multitude of available major film and TV roles,” said Menick.

Also on hand will be director/producer James Suttles, who will be teaching SAC’s crew training course, which aims to provide practical knowledge required for introductory positions on feature films in the grip, electric and camera departments.

“The way to build a career in the film world is to get yourself hired in any position on a set and network,” said Suttles, whose latest projects include the feature film “Reunion 108” (based on the life of Major Leaguer Billy Sample) and the upcoming terror thriller “The Manor.”

With North Carolina’s 25 percent refundable tax credit for film projects spending at least $250,000, and the buzz created by“The Hunger Games,” shot primarily in Western North Carolina and grossing more than $686.5 million worldwide, the WNC Film Commission supports SAC’s efforts tobuild and maintain a competent film crew base, said Scott Hamilton, president and CEO of AdvantageWest. The WNC Film Commission is one of AdvantageWest’s five job creation initiatives. 

“North Carolina experienced record-breaking years for the film industry in 2011 and 2012, which provided more than 7,400 well-paying crew positions. We fully support the Screen Artists Co-op in their efforts to provide industry level training that could increase the potential for projects in the AdvantageWest region,” said Hamilton. “We share a goal to expand the capacity and volume of filmmaking in the region, thereby enhancing economic opportunities here in Western North Carolina.”

For more information on the open house and SAC’s other activities, call (828) 808-2468.