The BIG IMPRINT in the FILM INDUSTRY
KACY ANDREWS (pictured at right), CEO and founder of Bigfoot Entertainment and the IAFT, brings her experience of over 20 years of working in the entertainment industry. As a woman inside a male-dominated industry, Andrews attributes her successful career to an unrelenting tenacity that helped her stand out. Her advice to other woman in the industry: "work a little harder." She offers this guidance with the natural tone of stating a fact; she is not pointing out the unequal playing field, but simply giving the solution to it. Commenting on what might be a challenge unique to being a CEO that is a woman, Andrews said, "Some people may have a problem reporting to a woman." But Andrews is quick to point out this has not been an issue at Bigfoot Entertainment, as she has proven herself throughout her career with sound decision making and is now surrounded with a professional staff. She expects this same drive for excellence from her workforce and students, and says she is continually proud of the results.
Figuratively and literally, Bigfoot Studios, on the tropical island of Mactan off of the coast of the Philippines are a breath of fresh air from traditional, congested settings such as Hollywood. It is the home of Bigfoot Entertainment and the International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) founded by the CEO of Bigfoot Entertainment, Kacy Andrews. Using state of the art equipment and production and post-production facilities, Bigfoot has established itself as a genuine contender in the international film industry and a compelling option for film school.
Bigfoot's procurement of three Sony Cine Alta cameras provides the latest in High Definition production. The facilities include a 75-seat Dolby Mix Theatre, Foley Studios and Editing Suites, and two Sound Stages. Sound Stage One can boast of being the first actual soundproof sound stage in the Philippines; Sound Stage Two has a huge floor space of 1,100 square meters. IAFT offers several programs in filmmaking including the Certificate, Diploma and Crazy Filmmaker programs, as well as a degree in the Performing Arts. With the guidance of industry professionals, students go through a set of courses that combine theory with the realistic application of lessons learned.
The attractive island of Mactan is located in the epicenter of Southeast Asia's filmmaking community; with a growing population of around three million people, it has been the home of Bigfoot Studios for three years now. Feature length films, shorts, and documentaries are being created by companies from many countries for worldwide distribution. With a staff of over 250 experienced professionals, Bigfoot Studios offers consulting, story boarding, CGI, and other services that ensure a professional end product. Bigfoot Entertainment's productions have spanned all genres. The studio's most recent, Midnight Movie (see page 42), is a feature length horror film written and directed by Jack Messitt, and will be released in January of 2009 in ten U.S. locations.
What makes Bigfoot Studios stand out (no pun intended) is the combination of its professional services with its active film school and the diversity of its staff and students. Currently, the student body is 60% foreign and 40% local; the mixture of the differing cultures offers an insight into the world unique to the International Academy of Film and Television. With this expanded awareness of the world, the instructors and students are able to produce films with the benefit of a heightened global consciousness.
Classes are held in nine-week terms, with five terms being offered per year. The relatively small class size of around 25 students allows for more individual attention to be provided. Top students have been given career and internship opportunities after graduating, allowing them to apply their newly-acquired skills. These chances to remain with Bigfoot Entertainment are being expanded to help secure graduates' success in today's film industry. Students make a 10-minute long short film to fulfill their thesis requirements. Alumni of IAFT have gone on to win film festivals with these projects in their respective home-countries, including Asia, South Korea, India, and European countries.
Bigfoot Studios has the advantage of having a mixing of cultures, successful leadership, and a tropic location that is miles away from smoggy urban settings. The International Academy of Film and Television is providing the next generation of filmmakers an experience that cannot be found anywhere else. Ready to provide the facilities needed for anything from an underwater chase scene to mixing in a massive sound stage, Bigfoot Studios is leaving its prints in the sand. Bigfoot Entertainment is continually gaining positive recognition in the film industry with its unique surroundings and facilities which result in professional releases.
- Kellen Merrill
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