The Oklahoma Film and Television Academy (OFTA) is a short-course training facility that prepares local students to work on and be successful in crew positions across all production departments. OFTA was established to support the growing film industry in our state and focuses on upskilling and retraining folks from every walk of life. Understanding that there are positions on set available for skilled workers, OFTA has developed a detailed curriculum to ensure graduates are prepared to walk on set with a wealth of set knowledge and practical experience.
OFTA students have access to four courses that can be fulfilled both remotely and in-person at Green Pastures Studio, Oklahoma’s first working Hollywood grade sound stage. The first course, “Film Crew 101”, is a podcast series that pulls back the curtain on all the different roles that go into making a film or television show, interviewing the top crew from across the globe. The students will be required to pass a written exam after listening to each of the departments’ podcasts. This course is required to advance to the second course in the series, “Set Ready”, which is a four-day intensive course that takes a deep dive into the world of film and television crews. Upon completion of this course, OFTA students are ready to walk on set in any number of production assistant roles across all production budgets. This course grants graduates an opportunity to explore each of the departments in greater depth and also goes over the basics of paperwork and walkie lingo ensuring successful integration on set from the very first day.
“I have learned more about production over these past four days than I did in film school,” said OFTA graduate LaRissa Fisher, Slate 1. “I appreciate all of you at OFTA so much!”
Once the OFTA student has been exposed to the many crew positions on a set, they can enroll in a specialization course that will further train them in their selected craft, from script supervision to accounting and more. The most recent Set Construction students worked with Oklahoma local Production Designer Chris Rose to vision, plan and construct a standing set of a police station that will have its permanent home at Green Pastures Studio. While many of the students had a background in construction, this course allowed them to see exactly what goes into building a set that is ready to be used on a production. They explored set design, camera angles, creating depth in shots and techniques, such as fly walls and staircases to nowhere. Hands-on opportunities such as these, in a controlled environment, encourage questions and in-depth learning. All the specialized courses are taught by industry professionals that have been on major Hollywood film sets, giving our students a one-of-a-kind training experience.
The final phase offered to OFTA students is the practical course where students will be placed in their respective departments and work on a “show” from start to finish. The students will work with industry Heads of Department (HOD) to put up a television pilot from pre-production through post, depending on their crew position. This five- to six-day course is a great resume builder.
Throughout this entire process, the staff at OFTA works to place the graduates on the many productions that are filming and slated to film in Oklahoma in the coming year. They encourages all graduates to enroll in the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) Production Directory and help them create their IMDB profiles. OFTA is currently offering in-person classes in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and will have online courses (with a day of practical experience in either OKC or Tulsa) running in January. The goal is to get jobs for as many skilled workers as possible from across the state in the growing film industry.
OFTA students come out of the program ready to work with the majority of students working on films immediately after graduation. OFTA is committed to building a strong workforce to further the growth of Oklahoma’s film industry.
For more information and to enroll in courses, visit oklahomafilmandtvacademy.com.