You're stuck in traffic, left leg about to go numb from the stop-and-go clutch work, mind wandering to the little gaps and spaces in between the cars and on the sides of the highway - if it weren't for stupid traffic laws and the safety of yourself and others, you could TOTALLY zigzag your way out of there. While liberating yourself from the constraints of marked lanes and brake lights, you could look to your left at some hottie eyeing you like you're amazing, and throw one of those toothy grins where a little sparkle bounces off your pearly whites ("ting"). You would be SO BADASS...if only you had the opportunity to do so without dire physical and legal repercussions.
But wait - do you have $250, gas money to get you to and from the north side of Atlanta, and half a Saturday? Because if you do, your dream has a definite chance of becoming your reality!
Thanks to the ever-expanding film industry in Atlanta, companies like Precision Drivers Atlanta and Fast Stunts are filling in the gaps for much-needed training in the areas of film production support. Precision driver Diego Diaz (Precision Drivers of Atlanta) teamed up with stunt driver Stefan Gutman (Fast Stunts) to create a one-stop resource for film-related precision driving and picture car needs.
Precision Drivers Atlanta and Fast Stunts offer the $250 Precision Driving Course, one-on-one private training, and are developing a comprehensive Stunt Driving Course. In addition to teaching precision drivers the skills needed to be professionals, they are incredibly informative about the actual ins and outs of working on film sets, and can act as agents in job-sourcing for people completing their course.
PDA also offers a picture cars registry for anyone with a car to sign up and make their vehicle available to film sets as needed. You can go to the registration page and fill out the information, and your car will be included in a selection from which studios can pick and choose. Registering your vehicle is free, and remains free - PDA only makes money when you do.
PDA's variety of picture cars span all decades, models, makes, colors, shapes, and sizes. One of the only requirements for registering a picture car is that it runs; even picture cars with body damage are needed for some productions. Precision Drivers Atlanta is currently working on Tom Cruise's new film, Mena, and do a lot of work for commercials, and pretty much anything else that is filmed and needs picture cars and/or precision drivers.
The $250 Precision Driving Course is a lot of fun - I know, because I got to take it. One of the first things I took note of, before even showing up for the class was this:
Women in Film & Television Atlanta is an organization, "dedicated to improving the status and portrayal of women in film, television, video and other screen-based media by offering opportunities for media makers to connect, create, champion and inspire." Precision Drivers Atlanta has the logo on the home page of it's website.
Fun fact: the southeastern United States is not a bastion of feminism, particularly in traditionally male-dominated industries, such as those relating to automobiles.
As a female student in the precision course, I was treated with respect and consideration, right down to the toilet paper in the women's restroom. The leering, jeering, sexism, and misogyny (e.g., cleavage ogling, pervy unnecessary touching, and endless stupid jokes about women drivers) that I have come to expect from men in the automobile industry simply did not exist at this course.
Obviously, I can't say there will never be a creep show in the course, but I was with a really great group of women and men, students and instructors alike. It meant a lot to me, and quite frankly, was awesome to not have to use my anti-douchebag-stare-of-death (it's exhausting).
As for the course itself, my city-hipster-Fiat and I did just as awesome as I anticipated (I pre-qualified as a badass years ago). I even got to go along with Stefan while he did some terrifying drifting and things of that nature, which, despite my grip permanently imprinted on the door handle of his car, was quite exhilarating.
If you are working on a production that needs picture cars and/or precision/stunt drivers, want to make some extra cash by renting out your car, or are just looking to nourish your own inner-badass, Precision Drivers Atlanta and Fast Stunts are the way to go.