Full-time film work means health benefits replace GoFundMe for Decatur resident

Germaine Rigg has two passions — making films and roller derby. His love of films inspired him to earn a degree in film from University of Central Florida. His love of the derby sent him to the emergency room.

At the time of his accident, Germaine worked as a cook at Whole Foods to make ends meet. In Florida, film work had slowed down due to the repeal of film tax credits and Germaine couldn’t find a job in his field.
Germaine Rigg

“I was a cook and I worked on my feet all day. With the injury, I couldn’t do my job, so I had to start a GoFundMe page to pay for medical expenses and to help me get by while I was out of work,” says Germaine. “Now that I’ve found steady jobs in the Georgia film industry, I joined the union and have health benefits for the first time in a decade.”

After film school, Germaine earned a certificate through the Film Production Technology program at Valencia College in Orlando. The program trained students in production-related skills. Germaine heard there was more opportunity in Georgia, and took his new skillset to Atlanta in 2015. It took him six months of working for free on indy films and supplementing his income as a driver for a food delivery business before he finally landed paying jobs, mostly on commercials to start.

Germaine is an on-set dresser. Scenes can be filmed out of order, so he maintains the continuity of the shot. He ensures none of the property is damaged, takes photos of the set for reference, and is the liaison between the production designer and the shooting crew. He’s passionate about the work the art department does. He hopes to eventually work his way up to Production Designer.

Now Germaine works full-time and earns double what he did as a cook. His recent film credits include “St. Agatha,” “Good Girls,” “An Accidental Zombie (Named Ted),” “Superstition,” and “Stan Against Evil.”

“It’s such a relief to not worry about money,” says Germaine. “I get healthcare benefits, too. I finally went to the dentist for the first time in six years.”

And the roller derby? Armed with insurance, he’s able to pursue his love of the derby as a referee for the Atlanta Roller Girls. It’s paid off, too. He got his last job from a contact he made there.

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