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Oklahoma Film & TV Academy begins classes, launches 'Film Crew 101' podcast

The Oklahoma Film & TV Academy is beginning classes and has launched a podcast series to train people to work in movie and television production in the Sooner State. [Zachary Burns photo]
The Oklahoma Film & TV Academy is beginning classes and has launched a podcast series to train people to work in movie and television production in the Sooner State. [Zachary Burns photo]

The fledgling Oklahoma Film & TV Academy is getting ready to start its first session of weekend classes Saturday, following a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The academy also has launched a free new podcast series called "Film Crew 101" designed to help people learn what it takes to work on movie and television crews. 

As previously reported, the Oklahoma Film & Television Academy and Green Pastures Studio are located at 4300 N Post Road in Spencer, in the converted facility that was formerly Green Pastures Elementary School. 

The Oklahoma Film & Television Academy offers short-course programs focused on training people to meet the growing demand of Oklahoma’s film industry for skilled workforce members. It was originally slated to begin offering classes back in spring, but with the coronavirus pandemic, the initial start of classes was shifted to this Saturday. 


As previously reported, after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down productions in Oklahoma in spring, work on various movie and TV projects began ramping back up in early summer, leading to bustling times in the state's film industry. 

Richard Janes already was eager to help his adopted home state enter the fray of the burgeoning streaming wars. With the pandemic forcing Americans to spend more time at home watching TV and movies, the streaming wars are heating up even more - with Oklahoma is perfectly positioned to seize an advantage.

"The demand has gone up dramatically for places to shoot, because whenever you have a downturn in the economy, people going to the movies goes up. Now, obviously, we haven't been going to the movie theater, but we've been consuming so much more content at home that most of the streamers are running out of content," said Janes, who is a partner and co-founder in Green Pastures Studio and the Oklahoma Film & Television Academy, in a summer interview.

"They're having to commission so much more - and already they were going to be commissioning so much more because they need depth in their brand-new libraries that they're launching. So, we're in the position where the demand around the U.S. is just massive ... which is why we've been having so many phone calls - so many phone calls - from productions wanting to shoot here."

Between the streaming wars and COVID-19 production delays, Janes said another big problem looming in the film and TV industry is a lack of qualified crew. 

That's where the Oklahoma Film & TV Academy and its new podcast come into play. 

“With the streaming wars, more content is being commissioned than ever before and with this increase in demand comes more available jobs,” Janes said in a statement. “For anyone interested in working in film and TV, the first step is to understand what all the different jobs are that are available. Many people don’t think about the need for carpenters, accountants, painters, etc., but there really is a space for everyone on a film set and we hope this podcast will shine a light on all these different positions as well as the traditional camera and sound department roles.”

While the Oklahoma Film & TV Academy will be able to offer in-person training, Janes said he hopes the academy's new podcast will reach even more people interested in transitioning into the film industry. 

"There's a huge amount of production, and that also equals a huge amount of jobs. We have a really good film industry workforce here in Oklahoma already, but quite frankly, with the phone calls we're getting, that needs to jump," Janes said. "We've got a crew depth of like three, three and a half crew here in Oklahoma. With the amount of productions coming in, we really need a crew depth of six to eight, which means that there's a huge amount of job opportunity for people who are currently out of work."

Each episode of the "Film Crew 101" podcast series will highlight a different department within film and television production and feature commentary with special guest artists highlighting their work and providing educational advice from their respective fields.

"It is a massive podcast where we've gone and interviewed every person on a film set, and that'll be going out so anyone in the country and anyone in the world can listen to it," Janes said in the summer interview. 

"Nothing has ever been done like that before where you have a half-hour interview with a boom operator or a sound utility or a grip or a gaffer. At the same time, we talk a lot about Oklahoma in it, so that on a global scale, this podcast series can bring and television industry here a lot of attention." 

"Film Crew 101" is now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other major audio platforms. 

The free podcast series debuted earlier this month with three episodes. They feature interviews with Jennifer Radzikowski, the Unit Production Manager of the Academy Award-winning movie "Moonlight"; John Carney, a Background Production Assistant, whose credits include Amazon’s hit series “Bosch,” “Ray Donovan” and “About a Boy”; and multi-Primetime Emmy nominee production sound mixer Mathew Price, whose credits include “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “NYPD Blue” and “The Sopranos.”

When the podcast debuted earlier this month, Janes said it jumped straight into the Apple Podcast charts, coming in at No. 2 in the film interview category and beating podcasts from NBC, The Hollywood Reporter and IMDB. 

 The Oklahoma Film + Music Office is a sponsor of the "Film Crew 101" podcast, alongside the Cherokee Nation Film Office.

“Being one of the first states in the country to resume film production amid the current COVID-19 climate, Oklahoma is seeing a surge of increased interest from film and television productions eager to get back to work safely and responsibly,” said Oklahoma Film + Music Office Director Tava Maloy Sofsky in a statement. “At a time when so many across the state as well as the country are struggling with unemployment and job security, it is our hope the Oklahoma Film and TV Academy podcast series will educate new audiences on film production and showcase how an individual’s existing trade skills may easily transition to readily available jobs within Oklahoma’s film industry.”

For more information on "Film Crew 101," visit Apple Podcasts.

 For more information on the Oklahoma Film & TV Academy, go to www.oklahomafilmandtvacademy.com

For more information about the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, visit okfilmmusic.org.

-BAM 

Related Photos
The Oklahoma Film & TV Academy is beginning classes and has launched a podcast series to train people to work in movie and television production in the Sooner State. [Zachary Burns photo]

The Oklahoma Film & TV Academy is beginning classes and has launched a podcast series to train people to work in movie and television production in the Sooner State. [Zachary Burns photo]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-389342bdbd5c93d656cfa282e8d4de12.jpg" alt="Photo - The Oklahoma Film & TV Academy is beginning classes and has launched a podcast series to train people to work in movie and television production in the Sooner State. [Zachary Burns photo]" title="The Oklahoma Film & TV Academy is beginning classes and has launched a podcast series to train people to work in movie and television production in the Sooner State. [Zachary Burns photo]"><figcaption>The Oklahoma Film & TV Academy is beginning classes and has launched a podcast series to train people to work in movie and television production in the Sooner State. [Zachary Burns photo]</figcaption></figure>
Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1... Read more ›

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