Catina Jones wanted to be a television newscaster in the 1990s when she was enrolled in Clark Atlanta’s radio, film and journalism program. Then A.B. Cooper of the Georgia Film Office came to a class to talk about making films.
“The industry then was only a glimpse of what it is now,” Catina says. “But I was hooked by Cooper’s enthusiasm. I wanted to be a part of making movies.”
The path forward for the native of Macon and graduate of Mary Persons High School in Forsyth wasn’t clear, so she made her own way. “I was just annoying and aggressive about meeting people and learning new things because I desperately wanted to get experience, to learn more about the business and the players,” she says. And she hasn’t stopped learning.
Her “next big thing” was during the Olympics when she worked on the crew videotaping the boxing at the Georgia Tech venue. That experience helped prepare her for a seven-year run making music videos.
What followed was her first feature film experience in 2002 working on “Drumline.” Two principal bands appeared in that film –– the Southwest DeKalb High School Band and the Clark Atlanta Band. Catina’s job was to coordinate the activities of both, making sure they were where they needed to be doing what the producers needed them to do. It was her first experience in a scripted production.
By 2007 Catina was studying film production at UCLA — and getting calls from Georgia as the state’s film industry was building momentum and attracting production talent to the state. She came back to work as a production coordinator and supervisor for various studios and independent companies. Her “annoying and aggressive” drive for experience was paying off in her ability to fashion a make-it-yourself career.
“I love what I do helping producers manage everything from costumes and props to tracking the spending,” says Catina. “I learn something new on every single show.”