Students to be exposed to creative careers in film & TV

Published: Thursday, January 28, 2021 By: Staff Reports

More than 30,000 middle and high school students across the state will for the first time be treated to an inside view of the careers they can have in the growing Oklahoma film and TV industry through a collaborative endeavor with Junior Achievement (JA), Creative Oklahoma (COK), Maverick Arts, the Oklahoma Film & Music Office (OFMO) and nearly 30 industry professionals.

The effort incorporates the presentation of 20 short films featuring filmmakers and production talent across the industry talking about their work as part of the JA Inspire new virtual career exploration platform that will be debuted to students in a live virtual event which will launch January 28th, and then remain available for student exploration through the end of April 2021.  https://jainspireok.vfairs.com/en/#about 

"Upon learning that the arts have rarely been represented among the numerous corporations and industries participating in the Oklahoma Junior Achievement event, 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 so I set out to pull this together in an extremely quick timeframe."

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, both in Oklahoma as well as elsewhere.  Another eight state film industry and cultural leaders contributed their insights on a “Zoom” recorded panel discussing the accelerating growth of opportunities for film careers in Oklahoma.

In FY2020, the film industry had 818 production days by professional film crews and more than 4,200 Oklahomans were hired in a wide variety of industry-related skill areas, according to the OFMO. "Oklahoma had a 955% increase in industry expenditures here since 2012," said Tava Sofsky, OFMO's executive director. "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. 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." More information, including current opportunities in Film & TV can be found at OFMO’s website, 

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