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From the Box Office to the Corner Office: Directing the Gap between HR and Film

The Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) were Sunday night, culminating in a final ceremony of recognizing and rewarding the achievements of this year in film, from acting to directing to writing, oh my! As a former cinema studies minor, self-professed cinephile, and proud owner of 222 movies (yes, you read that right), Oscars night is one of my favorite nights of the year because it’s a night to celebrate the best in film. Even though I’ve developed a new passion for HR, my love for film will never die! Fortunately, throughout my time in the program, I have had opportunities to connect my established passion for film to my newly found passion for HR.

 

Last week, during the final class of my Strategic Workforce Planning course, I gave a presentation on an article of my choosing and the article’s relevance to workforce planning. The article discusses the growing importance of the film and television industry in the state of Georgia and the creation of the Georgia Film Academy (GFA), which provides a certification program of training and internships in a range of production jobs for college credit. The GFA provides the state of Georgia with a great way to prepare potential workers in film with necessary skills taught through courses such as set construction, lighting, and grip as well as developing the future workforce for the film and television industry in Georgia.

Discovering new passions doesn’t mean old passions have to die. HR is needed in every industry, whether it’s the film industry or the tech industry or the restaurant industry.  I’ve loved learning about HR throughout my two years at Villanova, and it’s been great to see all the different ways in which I can connect the concepts I’ve learned, whether in diversity & inclusion or organizational psychology, to areas of which I’m passionate, such as film.

--Emma Edoga

With the film and television industries designated as a High Demand Career Initiative, the state of Georgia must develop a workforce planning strategy to address any future staffing needs they may have. One of the workforce planning models discussed in the course is a model developed by Thomas P. Bechet; one of the steps in the model is identifying critical staffing issues and areas focus. Specifically, for the film and television industry in Georgia, critical staffing issues include middle-skill, below-the-line occupations, such as special effects makeup artists, specialized costume fabricators, and set dressers. Positions in sound, grip, and electric are also seen as the most difficult to staff. Some competencies and skills seen as necessary for success in the film industry include judgment, awareness of protocol, critical thinking, writing and technical skills, and specialized knowledge in whatever field chosen, whether it is lighting or sound or set design. Some of the staffing plans and strategies the state of Georgia has implemented to address staffing gaps include the creation of the aforementioned Georgia Film Academy and the development of training programs and internship programs partnered with schools and universities in the state.

 

This presentation was fun to deliver, and not just because I gave everyone in the class movie theater candy and enthusiastically revealed my Stranger Things (yes, this show was filmed in Georgia) t-shirt hidden under my jacket like a page ripped out of a Superman comic, but because I was so excited to connect some of the material I’ve learned to an area for which I have a lot of love. Discovering new passions doesn’t mean old passions have to die. HR is needed in every industry, whether it’s the film industry or the tech industry or the restaurant industry. I’ve loved learning about HR throughout my two years at Villanova, and it’s been great to see all the different ways in which I can connect the concepts I’ve learned, whether in diversity & inclusion or organizational psychology, to areas of which I’m passionate, such as film. So, in honor of a week that celebrates the end of the film awards season and the start of my last graduate course in the Human Resource Development program, who’s to say I can’t have both?

 

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Emma Edoga is Graduate Assistant in the Graduate HRD program at Villanova University.  She serves as the Co-President for the VUSHRM chapter.  Learn more about her here!

 

Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker (posted under CC license)

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