RE:Imagine Launches New Production Program

BY Emma Warner

If you’re a young aspiring media and entertainment professional, chances are you’re familiar with RE:imagine.

The organization has been a stalwart in Atlanta’s film community since 2014. Over the past ten years, they’ve reached more than 5,000 youth and created more than 500 digital assets, like music videos, documentaries, and podcasts.

From the very start, their mission is to, “bring together youth from different backgrounds and provide them with an opportunity to learn from each other through the art of storytelling.”

In recent years, their focus has expanded to include the development of practical skills and workforce placement. When participants graduate from their programs, RE:imagine wants them to be ready to start working in the entertainment and media industries.



To that end, RE:imagine recently launched their Post Production Track with two inaugural cohorts. One is based in Metro Atlanta, and the other is located in nearby Gwinnett County.

This program is a new offering in their existing Apprenticeship Tracks. Apprentices range in age from 18-24, making them members of Generation Z (a.k.a. “Gen-Z”).

RE:imagine sees Gen-Z as the future of the filmmaking industry, and as such, all of their programs seek to address the unique challenges that young people will face while looking for work in the film industry.

RE:imagine declares that they’re, “Equipping Gen-Z Representative Storytellers.”

They do so through three main pillars of support: exposure, training, and placement. All three of these elements come together in their Post Production Track, where apprentices enrolled in the program have access to networking opportunities and site visits while receiving practical training in Adobe Premiere Pro. Enrollees are also placed in RE:imagine’s workforce development pipeline.

“Our Post Production initiatives at RE:imagine nurture talent and empower our local creative community to excel in the industry. We’re dedicated to equipping emerging filmmakers and storytellers with the necessary resources and support to refine their skills and make their mark on the world stage,” explains Julie Foster-Straw, RE:imagine’s Executive Director, to Oz Magazine.

This initiative adds to their roster of existing programs, including their No Comment Film Fellowship, a documentary class for students ages 16-19, and their EMERGE Apprenticeship, which helps participants construct their portfolios and gain practical work experience.

"I think that it's such a creative place to be."

BY Desiree Velez

“I love the idea of being able to give them training, hands on opportunities, and connect them with employers so that… if [the apprentices] are starting out or just taking off with it, they’re able to get their foot in the door,” says Desiree Velez, Assistant Producer Apprentice at RE:imagine.

Velez, who helps coordinate the Post Production Track, sees a lot of potential in the program and the cohorts of apprentices. Velez moved to Atlanta last fall and was immediately impressed with RE:imagine’s slate of programs.

“I came across RE:imagine, and I really liked their mission statement of helping develop youth to be able to get into the creative industries. I really feel like that’s important, ‘cause I don't feel like I had that when I was growing up,” Velez said.

Over the course of ten weeks, apprentices in the Post Production Track learn Adobe Premiere Pro with the goal of becoming certified through the Adobe Premiere Certification test. Certification is important, as it’s an immediate indicator that you have a baseline proficiency in a specific set of skills that are needed for post production workers.

For many people who are interested in this line of work, the costs of the Adobe Premiere Pro software and taking the certification test can be prohibitive. With this program, RE:imagine is working to take down some of those barriers by covering the cost of both the software and the certification.

Throughout the program, the cohorts work with teaching artists to build their skills and prepare for the certification test. Christopher White, an Editor for Turner Classic Movies, is working with the Metro Atlanta cohort, while Paras Chaudhari, a Creative Producer and Director, is working with the Gwinnett County cohort. Both teaching artists provide a wealth of technical skills and industry knowledge to the apprentices.

The Post Production Track’s goals are simple: upon completing the program, the apprentices should be qualified for gainful employment in the industry. Additionally, they should feel empowered to pursue their own creative projects, something that the RE:imagine staff actively encourages throughout the program.


“A lot of them have, already, projects that they are working on. I think that… with the networking, I think that that’s gonna be something that’s gonna be able to really help them. I’m excited to see where they’re at when it comes to those work opportunities… I told a lot of them that I think that they’re gonna surprise themselves with how well that they’re able to take off with this,” Velez explained.

This perspective illustrates the unique approach that RE:imagine brings to their Apprenticeship Programs.

Rather than encouraging their apprentices to solely use the practical skills that they develop in these programs to find paid work, they also embolden the apprentices to pursue their own creative projects. This is part of their founding principle of supporting and empowering storytellers.

Velez sees these programs as a crucial part of Atlanta’s media and entertainment ecosystems.

“I’m really excited personally for people in Atlanta to learn more about this, whether it’s students that want to apply and be a part of the program [or] people who want to maybe have any resources or anything that they’re interested in helping with RE:imagine,” she added.

 She emphasizes that the young people living in and nearby Atlanta have a lot to offer the industry, and that it’s a great place to begin working as a media or entertainment professional.

“I think it’s such a creative place to be,” she stated.

RE:imagine also recognizes that the areas surrounding Metro Atlanta are full of potential. They consider their support for emerging talent in Gwinnett County to be just as important as their work in Metro Atlanta.

Gwinnett County is already home to studios, production facilities, and more. By tapping into the up-and-coming Gen-Z creatives in Gwinnett, RE:imagine is engaging with a previously underserved area.


The Post Production Track takes place largely online, though the apprentices in both cohorts have already completed site visits to kick off the program. The Metro Atlanta cohort visited Uppercut, a creative boutique post-production company with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. The Gwinnett County cohort visited the Georgia Latino Film Alliance Headquarters. Both groups had the opportunity to tour the facilities, learn about the day-to-day tasks of various employees, and meet their teaching artists in person.

Bringing the cohorts together and giving them the opportunity to meet working film professionals in person is a central component of the program. The RE:imagine team understands how crucial networking opportunities are for people looking to start working in the entertainment and media industries. They want to help facilitate relationships within the cohorts themselves and between the cohorts and current working
professionals across the industry.

“We really want them to be able to talk amongst [each other] more, because… that could be your peer in the industry down the line,” Velez explained.

The importance placed on industry connections can be a barrier to folks without existing connections. Velez added, “Starting out without connections or without this kind of…
opportunity, I feel can be a lot harder.”

Looking forward, Velez says that RE:imagine is considering other new Apprenticeship Tracks, focusing on topics ranging from podcasting to lighting. She emphasizes that these initiatives are a cross-team effort within the organization. Their education department, for example, handles outreach to local schools.

However, for now the focus is on the Post Production Track. At the end of the ten weeks, the apprentices will take their Certification test. The RE:imagine team is then hoping to come together with the apprentices to mark the end of the program.

“They are wanting to do… a big celebration. Kind of like a hurrah at the end,” Velez said. “That will be really exciting for them to just be able to celebrate.”