Six Pixels Studios East Valley/Phoenix owner's love of film blossoms into new career path

Make a Movie class
Jerry Woods leads a Make-a-Movie class at San Tan Charter School. By the end of the four weekly one-hour sessions, the seven students will have made a short movie with all of them involved in every aspect of production. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Jerry Woods leads a Make-a-Movie class at San Tan Charter School. By the end of the four weekly one-hour sessions, the seven students will have made a short movie with all of them involved in every aspect of production. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Some students enjoy the after-school class enough to take it again.
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Jerry Woods said despite the age span of 7-13, the students work well together. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)
Jerry Woods grew up in Detroit loving cinema, something he picked up from his mother.

“I was the kid who, even before I was 15, had seen all of the Humphrey Bogart, Ernest Borgnine films,” he said. “I went back and watched them all and just absorbed.”

It took a while for it to manifest into a career, but it finally has for Woods in a film production company plus an after-school program for children ages 7-13 on film and visual production, Six Pixels Studios East Valley/Phoenix.

Six Pixels offers classes from filmmaking, stop motion, photography, YouTube and more. It partners with schools to do after-school clubs. Right now it is at San Tan Charter School’s Recker Campus and across the Gilbert border at Mesa’s Leman Academy of Excellence.

Additionally, students can take classes online, through in-person private groups, at summer camps and birthday parties.


“What attracted me is the fact that it is teaching kids, and I loved the age of the kids,” Woods said. “I think kids are just naturally learning at a more advanced rate than when I was a kid.”

Growing up in the 1970s, two films from 1977 especially enthralled Woods: “Star Wars” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Woods said he loved watching documentaries on the making of those films.

“Steven Spielberg became an early influence, and I couldn’t learn enough about him and how he filmed and his approach,” Woods said. “George Lucas, the same.”

But Woods’ life took him down a different path for most of his career. He spent four years in the Army and four years in the National Guard to pay for college. Then he spent more than 30 years in corporate America, mostly in human resources.

His break into film came when Honeywell laid him off in May 2020 during the pandemic. The severance package allowed him seed money to start his own production company with a friend and buy into Six Pixels, a burgeoning franchisor.

“I started to really hone in on the fact that I love film, and I love filmmaking,” he said.

Nu Eer Legacy Entertainment

Woods and his business partner, film editor Rory Christian of Georgia, named their production company as a nod to their heritage. (‘Eer’ is and African word meaning honor.) Here is what they have in the works.

  • A short film in post-production

  • A documentary being wrapped up

  • Looking for a feature film opportunity


www.nueerlegacyentertainment.com

Six Pixel Studios East Valley/ Phoenix

248-345-5424

https://six-pixels-east-valley-phoenix.business.site

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-noon, closed Sun.
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.