In a city pouring with creative freedom and artistic expression, the Institute of Cinematic Arts offers a variety of programs to help you develop your craft — or simply find one — in Savannah.
Located at 12 W. State St. downtown, ICA is a production company with a lot of heart and a passion for teaching.
It began with a mother-son duo based out of Hilton Head, S.C. Both had previously spent time in Los Angeles working on film sets before Sandra Lindo had an idea to start a small workshop series and enlisted her son, Vitor Lindo, to help her.
"I put ads out on Craigslist for instructors and I got flooded with messages," Lindo says. "Everybody wanted to be a part of it."
On July 30, ICA opened its doors to the public and began generating a curious buzz around the area: Is it a college? Is it a university? Can you get credit? Not at all. One thing the Lindos want to make very clear is that they are, first, a production company that offers services such as equipment rentals, studio space and classes on creative multimedia.
"We figured we could put productions on," Lindo says, "and at the same time we can teach what we know and get people excited." ICA’s classes include photography, cinematography, acting for film and television, screenwriting and modeling. And the instructors vary from local graduates of the Savannah College of Art and Design to filmmakers and professionals who have worked on Academy Award-winning projects. With less than a dozen students in each class, each workshop is intimate, conversational, hands-on and "everybody gets one-on-one attention constantly," Lindo says.
Following her third session of Basic Photography at ICA, Hilton Head native Linda Beach is thrilled she discovered the company on Living Social. "I had been wanting to learn more about photography for a long time," Beach says. She bought almost a dozen photography books but they were too confusing and overwhelming.
"I thought maybe I just need to get into a classroom," she says. After three sessions, Beach has learned about lenses, camera settings, focal points and post-production — all while improving her own photo taking skills. But Beach says she is most impressed by the dedication and service of her instructor, Vitor. "I missed the first class because it was on Labor Day Sunday," Beach says. She immediately called Lindo to tell her she couldn’t make it and he told her he would meet with her later in the week.
"He ended up coming to my school in Bluffton and spent three hours with me, one-on-one, catching me up." ICA’s commitment to helping students enhance and acquire new skills is sure to echo beyond the classroom and throughout the community. With state-of-the-art equipment and passionate instructors, people who dreamed of studying cinematic arts now have more flexible options available to them. It’s never too late to get geeky. For more info, check out www.instituteofcinematicarts.com. You also can find out about internship opportunities by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janay Kingsberry is a web producer for SavannahNow.com. She studies journalism at Savannah State University. Find her on Twitter at @_LoisLane or email email@example.com.