The South Carolina Film Institute (SCFI), a nonprofit that provides budding S.C. filmmakers with a space to gain production experience, suffered approximately $30,000 in damages due to recent rain and flooding in Columbia. 

The office did not have flood insurance and up to three feet of water flooded the space, ruining most of the expensive camera and recording equipment. SCFI has started a gofundme page and asks everyone interested in the filmmaking industry in South Carolina to consider contributing. Donations may also come in the form of cameras, sound equipment, office equipment, and anything else that could be beneficial to the business. 

“We managed to save one computer,” says SCFI co-owner Marcus McCall. He adds that he and his staff didn’t get a chance to protect any equipment because the flooding happened on a Saturday when they were all out of the office. 

McCall and Terry Davis started SCFI a little over a year ago when they realized that Columbia lacked a community and space for filmmakers. 

SCFI is only a year old, but in just 12 months the group has shot over 20 productions, including movies, commercials, and music videos, utilizing over 300 members of the Columbia community. The nonprofit also houses low-income artists at their property, The Film House, three blocks from SCFI headquarters. 

McCall says that the nonprofit was “pretty much taking off,” before the flooding and now SCFI is back at square one. McCall and Davis initially funded the creation of the institute and they’ve pretty much depleted their funds — hence the need for a gofundme. 

SCFI says that with the money they raise, they will continue their prolific shooting, including the filming of a feature film which may involve 200-300 people in both the Carolinas. 

“We’re not the only business [that was affected by flooding], so we’re trying to be patient,” McCall. He adds that the college students that are interning at the institute — up to 20 at any given time — are getting worried about their credits and that SCFI is doing everything it can to expedite the process of getting back on its feet.

SCFI’s biggest current project is a film called Proverbs, inspired by the Christopher Pittman story. In 2005 Pittman was convicted of murdering his grandparents in 2001, when he was just 12 years old. The Institute needs to re-shoot a courtroom scene for this film in which they’ll need at least 100 actors. 

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