The Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) is proud to join Junior Achievement (JA), Creative Oklahoma (COK), Jesse James Films and Maverick Arts as well as nearly 30 local industry professionals to highlight careers in the state’s film and television industry to over 30,000 middle and high school students participating in JA’s Inspire Virtual Program.
Launching January 28, 2021, in a live virtual event for students, this collaborative effort will include 20 short films featuring esteemed local filmmakers and production talent across multiple sectors of the industry talking about their work as part of the JA virtual career exploration platform. Featured careers include acting, special effects, production accounting, screenwriting, makeup artists, casting, production management, grip, gaffer, costume design, production sound mixing, producing, directing, cinematography, music composition, art development and direction, and vocal work. These films will then be available for student exploration through the end of April 2021.
“In Fiscal Year 20, the film industry had 818 production days by professional film crews with more than 4,200 Oklahomans hired in a wide variety of industry-related skill areas,” said OF+MO Director Tava Maloy Sofsky. “We only see these numbers growing moving forward, and with the Junior Achievement Inspire Virtual Program we are excited to be a part of providing Oklahoma students an inside view of highly rewarding career opportunities in an industry where they can succeed right here in their home state.”
Participating local industry professionals whose careers are highlighted as part of JA’s Inspire Virtual Program include Michael Andreaus (actor), Tory Ayres-Costello (production accountant), Jacob Burns (editor), Rachel Cannon (co-founder & co-CEO, Prairie Surf Media), Laron Chapman (screenwriter), Reagan Elkins (locations manager), Mollie Fabian (actress), Chris Freihofer (casting director), Nathan Gardocki (unit production manager), A.J.Gundell (music supervisor), Ella Janes (director), Richard Janes (co-creator, Oklahoma Film & Television Academy), Brandon Jones (key grip), Jennifer Loren (Executive Director, Cherokee Nation Film Office), Steve Mathis (gaffer), Jack O’Dell (costume designer), Grant Provence (production sound mixer), Kyle Roberts (director), Jaime Roman (producer), Jon Roman (cinematographer), Jay Shanker (entertainment attorney), Jerod Tate (composer), Colin Warde (art department) and Tava Maloy Sofsky (Director, OF+MO) as well as Nicole Poole (visual artist & cultural activist), and Meloyde Blancett (Oklahoma State Representative; Director, Creative Oklahoma) who spearheaded these efforts.
According to Poole and Representative Meloyde Blancett, this will be the first of many new endeavors designed to highlight hundreds of creative career paths in a wide variety of arts and innovation-centric fields. According to Blancett, “We know that broad opportunities in the creative industries, and creative opportunities in numerous other traditional industries, exist. If Oklahoma wants a robust, diverse economy, we must further one that supports and encourages creativity and innovation. Exposing the state’s middle and high-school aged students to film and TV careers through the JA Inspire event is an important component in achieving that.”
For more information, visit Junior Achievement’s website.
About Oklahoma Film + Music Office
Created in 1979, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) strives to share all that Oklahoma has to offer by welcoming filmmakers and music professionals to the state and by creating a network of support to develop Oklahoma’s film and music industries. For more information about the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program or the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, visit okfilmmusic.org.