What happens when something big unveils itself, the latest trend or the hot new buzz? People notice, and people want in. And it’s not just the people who want to keep up with the Jones’ or someone looking for work — even the kids are noticing.
That’s what happened with the film and television production industry right here in Georgia, and Jantzen Winnig, a Covington native, was watching.
When Jantzen was young, his mother recognized his interest in the industry, and she helped as she could. When she saw a movie directed by Alex Winter shooting in Old-Town Conyers, she had to let Jantzen know.
“My mom took me out of school, and we spent the day hanging out on set,” says Jantzen. “I was 14 at the time and I remember talking to every single crew member I could and soaking it all in.”
While Alex Winter may not remember talking to him on set, his kind words inspired Jantzen to follow his dream and work to perfect his craft.
“In high school I took broadcasting and theater and that helped me break out of my shell,” he said. “I didn’t like being in front of everyone so broadcasting really spoke to me.”
Throughout high school he and his friends would work on small videos mostly meant to entertain themselves. But as they got older those blooper reels evolved into more serious short films that kept improving. With the advance in film quality came the need for better equipment, but as anyone in the industry knows, it ain’t cheap.
Jantzen has taken many jobs in and around his hometown of Covington, and from Day 1 he has been saving to afford the equipment he needs to take his work to the next level. Since those days of filming around the backyard, Jantzen has built quite an impressive arsenal of equipment.
“In just a few years I’ve compiled a high-end camera, lights, sound equipment, sliders, tripods, drones and a plethora of other film equipment that help me get my work done,” he says.
These days Jantzen and his group of filming friends have formed a group they call “Silent Frame.” They focus on short films and have been nominated for 25 different awards at film festivals around the United States, bringing home twelve of them. Jantzen also helps small businesses with promotional videos.
“My family thought I would have to move to California if I wanted to get into this business, but I’m so happy that I am able to live in my home town and still do what I love,” Jantzen says.