New platform to help kids explore careers in TV, film

Published: Monday, January 25, 2021 By: Journal Record Staff Source: The Journal Record

The evolving story of movie making and television production in Oklahoma should spark the imaginations and career aspirations of students who will experience a little of the magic themselves this year.

Middle and high school students will be treated to an inside view of dozens of occupations they might one day choose to pursue in the growing Oklahoma film and TV industry. A collaborative endeavor of the Oklahoma Film & Music Office, Junior Achievement, Creative Oklahoma, Maverick Arts, and nearly 30 industry professionals has resulted in a “virtual career exploration platform” to premiere live on Jan. 28. The ambitious production incorporating presentations by professionals discussing their work will then remain available for students to explore online through the end of April at https://jainspireok.vfairs.com/en/#about.

“I knew there was a great opportunity to give our kids an exciting inside view of the careers that await them in film and television,” said Oklahoma City artist, voice talent and culture activist Nicole Poole, head of Maverick Arts. “I reached out to JA and they were very enthusiastic about including this opportunity as part of JA Inspire 2021.”

Poole said the response by the local film and television industry has been “over the top,” with 22 highly regarded professionals agreeing to produce interview videos showing students all the opportunities that exist in today’s industry in Oklahoma and elsewhere. Another eight state film industry and cultural leaders contributed insights in a Zoom panel discussion.

The industry is indeed growing in the Sooner State, which, according to OFMO Executive Director Tava Sofsky, has witnessed a 955% increase in industry expenditures since 2012.

“I see no sign of that changing going forward, which means that we need a workforce pipeline if we are going to continue to grow this industry,” Sofsky said. “This is a viable and highly rewarding career opportunity and we want our Oklahoma students to get an inside view of an industry they can succeed in right here in their home state.”

Sofsky noted that information about current opportunities in film and TV can be explored on the OFMO’s website, https://okfilmmusic.org/gettingstarted.

The career exploration videos for students will showcase careers in acting, special effects, production, screenwriting, makeup artistry, casting, costume design, production sound mixing, cinematography, music composition, art development and much more. All will feature Oklahoma industry professionals, many of whom have traveled extensively but

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