Friday, November 7, 2014

2014 Georgia BigPictureCon Exceeds 2013 conference

The 2014 Georgia BigPictureCon took place Oct. 5-6 at the Clayton State University Conference Center and continued previous conference traditions of bringing Atlanta filmmakers together for education and networking.

BigPictureCon founder and producer Nancy Howard said the primary goal for the 2014 conference was to increase attendance and awareness of the event, which began in 2005 and repeated in 2007, 2009 and 2013. “We lost a bit of momentum doing the conference sporadically like we had to in the past,’ Howard shared.  But the work she and the other conference organizers did to get into an annual routine certainly succeeded, increasing attendance by 19 percent over the last conference to well over 200 participants.

“This year’s conference was outstanding,” she said. “We had fantastic speakers.”

Serving as the closing keynote speaker was Michael Donaldson, an independent film and entertainment attorney from Donaldson+Calif Law Firm in Los Angeles. He shared best practices on fair use of intellectual property and other legal advice for emerging filmmakers and content creators. Opening keynotes Numa Perrier and Dennis Dortch, co-creators of the web network Black&SexyTV, spoke about their experiences and insights on how to maneuver the Hollywood and independent film festival system to help anyone seeking to develop creative content.

BigPictureCon Founder NANCY HOWARD (in green), with keynote speakers MICHAEL DONALDSON, 
NUMA PERRIER and DENNIS DORTCH, and BPC Program Coordinator MELISSA RANDLE (center)

As always, the hands-on workshops were the most popular activities.  The panel on sound design by audio engineer Joe Howell was well-received, as was the mobile digital camera workshop headed by Amani Channel. A surprise hit was the legal panel featuring Donaldson, attorney Keisha Perry and Georgia Lawyers for the Arts representative David Mayer.

The conference this year took place at Clayton State University. Howard said Clayton State’s Conference Center had everything the BigPictureCon needed as far as space, support and services. Howard in particular credited FilmClayton, the county’s film office, with helping everything work out.

“The services that the Clayton County Film Office makes available to up and coming filmmakers and the locations and industry knowledge and activity they have there makes them an excellent resource,” she said. “It was a great partnership so we’d be honored to come and bring our 10th anniversary conference back there in 2015!”
Grant Wainscott

“What’s important for our office is to help promote jobs and training in the industry,” said FilmClayton Director Grant Wainscott.  The goal is to create a qualified workforce to bring filmmaking to Clayton. Having the conference at Clayton State University, where film training is already taking place, is a natural fit, since it allows the film office to promote CSU programs to the BigPictureCon audience. FilmClayton thought it was so important to promote the conference that it provided a $2,000 sponsorship.

Wainscott also spoke on the first day of the conference, welcoming participants to Clayton County and explaining what kind of services the county and CSU could provide. Although Wainscott had to leave later that day, he said a coworker who stayed for the conference reported it went well. He definitely hopes the conference will return to Clayton.

“We’d love to see attendance grow and grow every year and we’d love to see how we can help with that,” he said.

"The Big Picture Con was a life-changing experience for many of the attendees who came from as far away as St. Louis and Tampa to be part of this event,” said Clayton film instructor Jonathan Harris, who assisted in arranging to bring the event to CSU, and also taught the editing workshop, one of the highest-rated sessions at the conference. “Face to face with industry professionals, they learned real-world and hands-on skills they will need to succeed in this industry.  More importantly, they were inspired to create by the other media makers in attendance.”  He said his students were energized by the conference and are writing new films and collaborating with each other as a result of their participation.

Linda Sayseng
Linda Sayseng, one of Harris’ students, volunteered at the conference. She organized the prize giveaways for some of the sessions and workshops, prepared name badges, and served as a session monitor.

“I enjoyed the panels and workshops offered,” she said. “I believe the editing workshop was a great benefit.”  She said she learned wonderful ideas about how to engage her audience through film and about networking. She also liked how the panelists were willing to engage in one-on-one networking with participants.

The next conference will take place Oct. 18-19, 2015, and will be the 10th anniversary of the BigPictureCon.  Some very special programs and features are being planned – so stay tuned!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Special Screening of Horror Film PROSPER Coming This Halloween

DULUTH, Ga.--The horror film Prosper, created by BigPictureCon speaker Deronte Smith, will have another screening at the Studio Movie Grill Duluth Halloween night.

Prosper, the tale of a group of teens who must escape from the clutches of an immortal witch descended from one of the women hanged in the Salem trials, was written and directed by Smith and produced by Smith as well as William Bearyman and Renonda Anderson. The film's stars include Shayla Love, April Hollingsworth, Davien Harlis, Nicholas Wolfe, and Anastasia Pekhtereva.

The screening will take place October 31st at 10 p.m. The Studio Movie Grill Duluth is located at 3850 Venture Dr., Duluth, GA 30096. For tickets, contact the theater at 770-299-7100.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Short Film "Boy in the Box" Coming to Georgia BigPictureCon

Award-winning short Boy in the Box to be screened at the Georgia BigPictureCon.

ATLANTA, Ga. — The 2014 Georgia BigPictureCon Short Film Festival will feature is Boy in the Box, an award-winning short directed by local filmmaking team the Bontrager brothers - DeWayne and LaWayne.

DeWayne Bontrager said the film, which is about a boy put in a coma after being hit by a texting driver and his journey into recovery, was inspired by seeing an oversized grocery cart.

“I saw it one day at our client’s warehouse and said, “How can we use that in a movie?” he said. This led to the idea of a boy making a box and entering an imaginary world much like children do. The title is a play on the term a “Jack in the Box” — the protagonist is named Jack and when he pops out of the box, it resembles a Jack in the box.

Cast as Jack is Royce Mann, an award-winning child prodigy. The Bontrangers met the Mann family at a local meet and greet event and recognized Royce’s potential immediately.

“We knew instantly he was the boy we were waiting for to play the part of Jack,” he said. “Royce was 9 and going on 13 – we knew that this boy would understand direction.”

According to a Q&A on the popular movie website IMDb, the film was shot in the metro Atlanta area. Locations included Fired and Wired in the Virginia Highlands area, whose owners allowed them to shoot there until 11 p.m., as well as the Atlanta Aesthetic Surgery Center. The film won “Best Actor” and “Best Special Effects” in the 2012 48-Hour Film Project.

Bontrager thanks all the friends and family who helped make the film possible. The doctor who delivered LaWayne’s daughter found the Atlanta Aesthetic Surgery Center for them and helped build the sets. They borrowed the extra-large shopping cart from their client and the scenes inside the box were shot with the help of Atlanta Feed the Hungry and Ashwood Development. A traffic cone was borrowed from Costco.

Bontranger said Boy in a Box is an inspiring film, shedding light on the rapidly growing issue of texting while driving and overall phone distractions drivers allow in their vehicles. The film could be a PSA on the dangers of texting and driving.

“We hope that all viewers will question the next time they reach for their phone while driving to text someone,” he said. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Check Out the 2014 BigPictureCon's Short Films!

MORROW, Ga.--The final selections have been made for the 2014 Georgia BigPictureCon Short Film Festival. Several films come from Georgia, with a few from other parts of the U.S., while one comes all the way from France.

The film titles are listed below:

*I Need My Monster

*Dream Robber

*Boy in The Box

*Glass Half-Full



*Am I Awake?

*The Proposal

*Relativity Explained to Children




Boy in the Box and Invictus are Atlanta-made films, while The Proposal hails from Clayton State University itself.  Relativity Explained to Children comes to us from France.

The festival is open to everyone. Tickets are only $5. For more information about the conference and the film festival, visit the official website.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Half-Price Groupon for 2014 BigPictureCon!

It's the deal you've been waiting for! Take advantage of our Groupon offer for a great chance to attend the 2014 Georgia BigPictureCon for HALF PRICE!

Discount available for Student or Regular All-Access Passes, making admission as little as $80 for regular passes, and $55 for students. For the standard Groupon offer site, click here. For the mobile site, click here. The offer is of limited duration, so grab it today!  For questions or additional conference information, visit, or call 770-354-4027.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Last Deadline for Short Film Festival Coming Friday...

ATLANTA, Ga.--The final, extended deadline to submit films to BigPictureCon Short Film Festival is this coming Friday, Sept. 12!

If you haven't already, please get your entries in! Tickets to attend the festival screening Sun 10/5 are just $10 each and are required for admission.

More information on the short film festival and entry details can be found here. For film festival tickets and info about registration passes to attend the two-day BigPictureCon Film & Technology Conference, visit

Monday, September 1, 2014

Georgia BigPictureCon Early-Bird Registration Has Been Extended

If you haven't registered for the 2014 BigPictureCon yet, it's not too late to get all the benefits for a reduced price!

The deadline for "early bird" registration has been extended from its original Aug. 31 date to Friday, Sept. 5. The all-access pass is $139, while the student all-access pass is $89. Starting Sept. 6, prices will rise to $159 and $109 respectively.

Why should you come to the conference? Watch the video below and find out.


For more information and registration, click here.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Two Deadlines are Approaching

ATLANTA, Ga.--Those with films to enter into the 2014 Georgia BigPictureCon's Short Film Festival, or who want to get into the conference at a reduced rate, don't have long--two deadlines are coming up quickly.

The late deadline for the film festival is today, Aug. 29, with a special extended deadline for those who need just a little bit more time Sept. 12. More information and how to enter the contest can be found here.

Meanwhile, early-bird registration for the BigPictureCon Film & Technology Conference ends this coming Sunday, Aug. 31. The regular All Access Pass is $139, and the student All Access Pass is $89. After Sept. 1, prices for regular admission rise to $159 and prices for students to $109. Day passes, tickets to the short film festival, and Green Pages resource books are also available.  For more information or to register, visit here.

Why come to the Georgia BigPictureCon, you ask? Well, if you're able to come to Clayton State University in Morrow Oct. 5-6, you'll be able to avail yourself of informative educational session- workshops and panels on topics including all aspects of filmmaking, production technology and web entertainment, as well as networking between student and emerging filmmakers and local and nationally known industry professionals. Specific topics include digital content creation, screenwriting, corporate production, film festivals and marketing & distribution. If you're looking to take your film/entertainment career to the next level, attending the conference is an excellent investment.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

FilmClayton Now Premier Sponsor for Georgia BigPictureCon

MORROW, Ga.-- The Georgia BigPictureCon is pleased to welcome FilmClayton, the Clayton County Film Office as a Sponsor for its 2014 Film & Technology Conference.

According to its website, FilmClayton's purpose is to attract film and video production to Clayton County. The office manages the business side of the film-making process in order to generate business for the county--property rentals, hiring local crews and talent, renting local equipment, etc. FilmClayton provides servinces like marketing local crew, equipment, and expertise, assisting with location scouting, coordinating police, fire, and other local government agencies to facilitate shooting on location, and working with Clayton State University to provide continuing education in film crew training.

"We're thrilled to have the support of the Clayton County Film Office for the 2014 BigPictureCon!" said Nancy Howard, founder and organizer of the conference. "From the first time they heard about our event, they have been excited and most supportive."

The BigPictureCon takes place on Sunday & Monday, October 5-6 at Clayton State University.  The BigPictureCon is a 2-day summit that provides opportunities for student and emerging filmmakers and industry technology professionals to connect with one another and participate in a variety of educational sessions on topics like filmmaking, production technology, and web entertainment.

Clayton County Office of Economic Development Director Grant Wainscott will provide opening remarks for the conference on Sunday, Oct. 5th. Howard said she hopes there will be a great turnout to receive him.

FilmClayton Assistant Director of Production Tamara Patridge said the county is glad to help the BigPictureCon.

"We have been searching for the right opportunity to support a conference of this type in our county that will help our community members become a part of the booming film industry in Georgia," she said.

Patridge offered the conference a warm welcome to Clayton County.

This year BigPictureCon attendees will experience two (2) days of educational sessions including panel discussions and seminars focusing on trends and enhancements in technology for gaming, web entertainment and film production.  Featured conference sessions include digital content creation for mobile devices; as well as screenwriting, distribution, marketing, networking, panel discussions with award-winning local and nationally-known industry professionals; and many, many more!

For details sessions, speakers or to register, visit, or email

Thursday, August 21, 2014

GA BigPictureCon Short Film Festival Welcomes International Submissions


ATLANTA, Ga.--The GeorgiaBigPictureCon's short film festival has received its first international entries, something Founder and Executive Producer Nancy Howard attributes to the conference's adoption of FilmFreeway.

"I was pleased but not very surprised to see that we had so many entries from the U.S.," said Howard. "But I was very pleasantly surprised that for the first time we also had entries from Canada, Germany, France, and the UK, as well as from places like Spain, Brazil, Turkey, Italy, Kenya, and Finland."

So far, the BigPictureCon has received over 40 submissions, with 15 of them coming from different countries around the world.

In previous years, the conference has accepted submissions manually or via online links.

"We've considered using," said Howard, "but it was expensive, particularly for small festivals like ours."

Withoutabox (WAB), one of FilmFreeway's primary competitors, is a popular online system created to streamline the submission process of filmmakers and film festivals. It has been well-received by the majority of its users, but others have expressed concerns about rising prices and declining customer support, as well as, for a time, an insistence on exclusivity.

After learning about the controversies with WAB, and the fact that FilmFreeway was free, Howard and the other conference organizers chose FilmFreeway.

"We are loving FilmFreeway," Howard said. "They have been upfront, easy to use, and fair thus far in our experience with them. It's been very exciting."

Friday, August 8, 2014

2014 Georgia BigPictureCon Coming to Clayton State University Oct. 5-6

ATLANTA, Ga., August 1, 2014 – This October, Clayton State University in Morrow will host the
2014 Georgia BigPictureCon Film and Technology Conference.

“The GABPC is a two-day educational summit for professional and emerging filmmakers and
those entering the film, technology, and digital media industry in Georgia,” said founder and
producer Nancy Howard.

The conference, which began in 2005, will provide opportunities for emerging filmmakers and
industry technology professionals to connect with one another and participate in a variety of
educational sessions. Conference participants will receive the Green Pages Resource Guide
Book that will include a directory of useful local, state, and federal film and video resources
targeted to the needs of emerging filmmakers, an academic planning calendar with a roster of
events put on by local film, visual arts, and digital entertainment organizations, as well as free
and online student resources, school info, and discounts.

In addition to educational sessions, workshops and panels, there will be opening and closing
keynote sessions by nationally known industry speakers. Session topics will include
screenwriting, distribution, marketing, digital content creation for mobile devices, editing,
funding and budgeting, audio production and industry networking. New this year are panels on
corporate production and local industry organizations. The conference also features a short film
festival with cash prizes up to $250 for the three winners, and an Audience Choice winner. Entry
deadlines and submission details are available here.

The speakers list is still being assembled, but previous keynote speakers have included Cory
Edwards, director of the acclaimed animated film Hoodwinked!; Chris Moore, producer of the
award-winning Good Will Hunting as well as American Pie and Project Sunlight; and Myrna
Moore, producer and host of TBS Storyline. Session speakers have included Kaneva
Entertainment President and CEO Chris Klaus, award-winning director and actor Ken Feinberg,
producer Dianne Ashford, Chris Escobar of the Atlanta Film Festival, and a host of other local
industry professionals sharing knowledge and access to inform eager attendees.

Earlybird pricing is available through August 31st. All access passes are available for $139, with
student and group discounts available. To register a group or for more information, call 770-

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

BigPictureCon Participants Get Discounts on Mobile Video Workshop

ATLANTA, Ga.--If you're looking for an affordable way to start creating films and videos, look no further than the device that's in your pocket--your smartphone. Android, iPhones, and tablets have moved into the mainstream for content producers.

To help you learn how to turn your device into a movie camera, broadcaster Amani Channel and Monique Johnson will host the Mobile Video Academy, a mobile video intensive on Saturday August 23, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. They'll share equipment, mobile production techniques, and apps during this workshop in Decatur, GA. There will be free mobile video gear and digital swag to lucky winners via RĂ˜DE Microphones, thePadCaster, Square Jellyfish, and Easy Web Video.

Event Info:
231 Sycamore St.
Decatur, Georgia 30030
Saturday, August 23, 2014 
8:00 AM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

Early Adopter tickets will be on sale until Friday Aug. 8. $49/Regular price $99. There will be a $15 dollar discount for the Georgia Big Picture Conference Community. Just use the promo code "gabpcdiscount"

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Georgia BigPictureCon Seeking Skilled Volunteers

ATLANTA, Ga.--The Georgia BigPictureCon is seeking volunteers to assist with public relations, web work, and administrative work.

*The public-relations assistant will help with social media. Experience with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn required.

*The web volunteer will help with the BigPictureCon website. Must have experience with HTML.

*A general administrative assistant is also desired.

*And flyer-distribution volunteers are still needed.

For more information and to volunteer, e-mail bigpicturefdn @

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ambassadors Needed to Spread Georgia BigPictureCon Good Word

ATLANTA, Ga.--The Georgia BigPictureCon needs ambassadors in the Douglas, South Fulton, Clayton, and Henry, and South Dekalb County areas.  

We need people on the ground in these ares who can help distribute flyers about the 2014 BigPictureCon Film & Technology Conference coming to Clayton State University Oct. 5-6

Materials will be provided.  Perks and benefits available to those who sign up and reach target promotion goals. The BigPictureCon features a short film festival that is open for submissions through Aug. 29.

For details about the conference and the short film festival, visit  For information about becoming an ambassador, write to bigpicturefdn @  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2014 Georgia BigPictureCon Now Accepting Submissions for Film Festival

ATLANTA, Ga., July 10, 2014 – The Georgia BigPictureCon (GABPC) Film & Technology Conference is accepting submissions for its 2014 Short Film Festival.  The festival will take place on Oct. 5th at the 2014 BigPictureCon.  Early entry deadline is Friday, Aug. 1.

“The BigPictureCon Short Film Festival is a component of our conference that we’re very proud of,” stated Nancy Howard, the BigPictureCon Executive Producer.  “The festival mission is to allow student and emerging filmmakers a chance to have their work showcased at a venue where professionals and peers are present to evaluate their talent and vision, and where they can network and access opportunities for professional development.”

Howard also shared that films will be evaluated by an esteemed jury of industry professionals, such as film festival programmers and established filmmakers, based on judging criteria which takes into account elements such as quality of storyline, creativity, production quality, acting, soundtrack and editing.

Filmmakers can submit their films online at, or manually using instructions available on our website at  Anyone can submit a short film on any topic.  However, the piece must be family-friendly (PG or G-rated), with no grotesque violence, nudity, or other inappropriate content. Films cannot be more than 15 minutes in length. An Audience Choice Award will be selected using state-of-the-art technology for smart phones.  The top three winners and the Audience Choice winner will receive cash prizes up to $250.00.

There will be four (4) submission deadlines.  Early submissions are encouraged and will be received through Friday Aug. 1.  After that the regular entry deadline is Friday Aug. 15.  Late submissions will be accepted through Friday Aug. 29, and an extended deadline will be available as well through Friday Sept. 12.  Those whose submissions are accepted for screening will receive two 2-day passes to attend the full BigPictureCon conference.  Submission fees start at $10.  Filmmakers can submit their films online at, or send in via a private URL link and on a DVD, USB flash drive, or class-10 SD card with appropriate fee to:

The BigPictureCon Film & Technology Conference
Attn:  Film Festival Entry
2997 E. Cobb Pkwy SE
Suite 300, #724772
Atlanta, GA  31139-9998

The BigPictureCon, which will be held this year Oct. 5-6 at Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga., will provide opportunities for emerging filmmakers and industry technology professionals to connect with one another and participate in a variety of educational sessions on topics like film production and technology, and web entertainment.  Local film and visual-arts organizations will be able to tap into and utilize the growing local student population as a “second string” of talent to help independent filmmakers and producers maintain their competitive edge.  Students in any discipline, emerging and professional filmmakers, animators, editors, writers, storytellers, audio technicians, game developers, special effects artisans, and digital media specialists are all welcome to attend.

For festival submission information, or conference registration, visit


The BigPictureCon is produced annually by the Big Picture Film & Video Foundation, a Georgia non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established to educate, support, and utilize students and industry newcomers in the “big picture” of the Georgia film and video production community.  The foundation and the BigPictureCon (formerly GABPC) were founded by Atlanta-based Producer Nancy B. Howard.  For more information, please visit or 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Here are the people who helped make the Georgia BigPictureCon possible:

Taking a moment are, from left, Track Coordinator Melissa Randle, Assistant Conference Coordinator Sue-Ellen Chitunya, Conference Executive Producer Nancy Howard, Track Coordinator Monique McGlockton, and volunteer Michael Wells.

Conference planning team members share comments at the closing session Monday, Oct 14. From left are Conference Executive Producer Nancy Howard, Conference Executive Director Joe Howell, and Conference Coordinator Rebecca Baker.