By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Donation to help grow BCHS film program
BCHS film donation
First bank of Coastal Georgia Vice President Jeremy Myers with Bryan County High School students Ryan Harvey, Devin Messex, Ella Bishop and Dr. Joseph Frew Miller. Jeff Whitten photo.

For students in Dr. Joseph Frew-Miller’s film class at Bryan County High School, a recent $100 donation from First Bank of Coastal Georgia will go a long way.

In fact, it’s huge.

“This money really means something to us, because it changes what we have to work with compared to what we had last year,’ said Devin Messex, an 11th grade cinematographer and one of approximately 90 students in the class. “This is really big.”

The students can now buy props, sound equipment and catering, which is how their actors are paid, 10th grade student producer Ella Bishop and student cameraman Roland Harvey said.

“This gives us the opportunity to actually make our film look nice. We get to buy some props and everything else we need,” said Harvey, a junior who said he does whatever it takes on film sets to help.

The three students are among a dozen in Frew-Miller’s class who are actively involved in film shoots and are looking to make it some sort of career, he said. An actor as well as a math teacher, Frew-Miller said the wave of filmmakers already to Georgia is starting to move this way, and he wants students prepared for opportunities when they come.

“It’s a big business in Georgia and it used to be Atlanta was the hub. Now Savannah is a smaller hub and it’s growing,” he said. “We had location scouts here recently from Sony. People are looking in this area because there’s a lot of diversity and variety.”

While Frew-Miller’s students can leave his class with a nationally recognized certification in broadcast journalism, they’ve already experienced some success as filmmakers. The class’s 13-minute film “A Country Funeral” was accepted into a number of film festivals and it placed first in the Social Round of the First Time Filmmakers Session In London, UK, and second in the Rocket City Short Film Festival script writing contest.

For First Bank of Coastal Georgia Vice President Jeremy Myers, who presented the check Nov. 3, the donation is a way to perhaps help inspire the next Stephen Spielberg.

“First Bank of Coastal Georgia is invested in reinvesting in the local community,” he said. “This gives students and teachers and the school the opportunity for everyone to learn how to produce a film together.”

As for Bishop, whose job as a producer puts her in charge of the budget, the donation will improve the quality of the students work.

“We didn’t have a lot to work with last year,” she said. “This donation means a lot.”

Sign up for our E-Newsletters