By Raynard Churchwell
ATLANTA — After graduating from Georgia State University and enrolling in the Georgia Film Academy, Melany Tejada (B.A. ’22) earned a spot on the set of one of the biggest movies of the year, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
As a costume design intern/apprentice, some of her tasks included keeping track of costumes and maintaining budgets. She described the experience as one of the crowning moments in her career thus far.
“There were a lot of organizational skills that went into it,” Tejada said. “One of the biggest duties I had was making sure the wardrobe was coherent to the script regarding the setting and time period of each scene.
“I was also in charge of doing costume production budget management, which was making sure that we were recording our assets. We had expensive pieces, so I had to make sure they were in a safe place and record whether they had to be returned or not.”
Tejada also interacted with many of the actors on set to make sure their wardrobe fit well and looked ready for the camera.
“I made sure our actors and actresses were comfortable in their attire,” Tejada said. “This was very important too, because sometimes they had to reshoot scenes multiple times.
“Whether it was wardrobe, jewelry, hair or makeup, I always looked to make sure everything was in place. I had to make sure things were done in a timely manner as well, because time is everything during a big production. I also worked closely with Dominique Thorne who plays Ironheart in the movie. It was an amazing experience for me.”
Tejada graduated high school in Lilburn, Ga., and chose to major in Film and Media at Georgia State.
“Georgia State is giving students who want to be in that field an opportunity,” she said. “I love writing, so a lot of my extracurricular courses were based on film, media and screenwriting. This is something that I’ve utilized in my current job.”
After graduating, Tejada enrolled in the Georgia Film Academy and received the opportunity of a lifetime to work with Marvel Studios. She said the connections she built in college led to her being able to work on major movie sets.
“I excelled in those technical courses and when the opportunity came to do an apprenticeship, I had good references from my instructors,” she said. “You can say I was in the right place at the right time.”
Tejeda said she is thankful for her journey, and thanks Georgia State for helping her get to where she is in her career.
“Doing all those things prepared me for where I am now,” she said. “The whole experience was amazing, and I owe a lot of it to Georgia State University. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my school.”