Film career is an intersection of good luck and hard work

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Luck got St. Simons native Sara Alread into Georgia’s film industry, but hard work keeps her there.

Like many people, Sara was a fan of the movies. But what she really enjoyed was getting a peak at behind-the-scenes footage of the people who create films. Film production was her dream but opportunities were scarce in her hometown of St. Simons Island so she pursued graphic design instead.

That changed in 2015 when filming began on Ben Affleck’s movie “Live by Night” in nearby Brunswick.

“Being from St. Simons Island, I had given up on the chance to work on film,” Sara says. “When ‘Live by Night’ came to small-town Georgia, it gave me the opportunity to pursue my dream.”

A friend of Sara’s who worked as a videographer looked into working on the movie. The production didn’t have a job for him but asked if he knew of any locals looking for work. He gave them Sara’s name. It was her first stroke of good luck to come.

Her good luck continued when the film’s location manager, Laura Bryant, decided to call Sara first from a long list of potential people. The deciding factor? The location manager liked her name because of a favorite Aunt Sarah.

“Luck got me in the door on that first film as a location production assistant. But then I worked hard and learned enough to keep the job,” says Sara.

“My background in graphic design helped me, too. The locations department creates maps of the set and sends them out daily with the call sheets. I can make the maps in-house which gives us more control over them.”

The growing Georgia film industry not only provided Sara with a new career opportunity at the perfect time, but it gave her husband opportunities as well. In 2015, she was freelancing as a graphic design artist from home while caring for their daughter. Working on films gave her enough income to allow her husband to quit his corporate job and freelance from home to spend time with their daughter.Sara Alread 3

Sara found that locations work is a perfect fit for her. The locations department is the middle man between the crew and the local community. Her organizational and communication skills have served her well and she enjoys the variety offered by locations. She scouts for locations, spends time in the office to prep for filming, and then gets to go on set and be part of the movie-making process.

Sara has worked on “Baywatch,” “Z: The Beginning of Everything,” “Galveston,” “Underground”, and is now working on “Gemini Man.”

“I love my work,” Sara says. “I’m not ever looking at the clock and 12-hour days go by quickly.”

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