3-Week intensive program provides onramp into Oklahoma’s rapidly growing film industry
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (Oct. 10, 2022) – On Wednesday, December 14, 2022, Prairie Surf Media, the Film Education Institute of Oklahoma (FEIO) and Work Ready Oklahoma (WRO) announced that they will partner with Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) to provide scholarships for several lucky Oklahomans to attend the 3-week Set Construction Intensive program which kicks off on January 2, 2023.
“While there are countless positions on a live film set, the most abundant and readily available are construction jobs,” said Matt Payne, co-founder and co-CEO of Prairie Surf Media. “It is with this in mind that Prairie Surf Media and our partner school Oklahoma City Community College decided to put on this three week construction intensive. We believe that not only will this workshop teach and enhance skills but that individuals who excel will ultimately find themselves rapidly employed in the industry.”
“Our 3-week Set Construction Intensive course is designed for students who have moderate tool/shop experience to learn the terminology, best practices, and skills to transition into the Construction Department on Motion Picture Productions as Set Carpenters,” said Sean Lynch, OCCC Professor of Digital Cinema Production. ”Students will learn flat, subfloor, ceiling, door, window, and step construction/installation, with all of these steps culminating in a completed industry standard film set.”
Outside of having some familiarity with tools, there are no prerequisites to participate in the program.
Taught by industry experts, classes will be held from 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday from January 2 – 21, 2023 at the OCCC campus located at 7777 S. May Avenue in Oklahoma City. This means that in just three short weeks, students will receive their Set Construction micro-certification accreditation, allowing them to immediately enter the film industry.
“The average pay for a construction coordinator in the film industry is over $70,000. These are good jobs with room for advancement as the film industry continues to grow in Oklahoma,” said Austin Taylor, executive director of the Film Education Institute of Oklahoma. “So now is the time to join the film industry in Oklahoma and be on the ground floor as the industry grows.”
“In 2021, Oklahoma lawmakers voted to invest $30 million dollars in a rebate program to encourage production studios to bring their projects to our state. In the last year and a half, we’ve seen $240 million added to the state’s economy while also creating more than 10,000 jobs,” said Rachel Cannon, co-founder and co-CEO of Prairie Surf Media. “I truly believe the film industry will create sustainable jobs, economic diversity and a creative path for the next generation here in Oklahoma. Partnerships like this one with OCCC, WorkReady Oklahoma and FEIO are essential to building an ecosystem that will continue to grow here for years to come.”
Work Ready Oklahoma also sees the value of this program and is supporting a pipeline of their employment program participants through the Set Construction course. Focusing on free services like skills assessment and job fit, work readiness workshops, career coaching, barrier removal and the employment partnerships needed to get people quality jobs that grow into a sustainable career, WRO has assisted nearly 500 Oklahomans this year and helped place more than 150 individuals into jobs paying above $16/hour, plus benefits.
“Work Ready Oklahoma is dedicated to helping individuals gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in emerging industries like TV and film,” said Sandino Thompson, Vice President at Public Strategies, which oversees Work Ready Oklahoma. “It’s our goal to provide Oklahomans with training and resources to help them find work and build a successful career in film and other growing sectors.”
To learn more about the OCCC Set Construction Intensive course, visit: www.occc.edu/sci/ or call 405-682-7512. Those interested in applying for the scholarships provided by Prairie Surf Media, WorkReady Oklahoma and FEIO valued at approximately $1,400 each should click HERE to apply, or email email@example.com for more information. Scholarship applications are due December 23, 2022.
“We are grateful for our partnership with Prairie Surf Media and for the support of Work Ready Oklahoma in making these scholarships possible,” said Dr. Mautra Staley Jones, OCCC President. “We are proud of our Digital Cinema Production program at Oklahoma City Community College, which has the distinction of being named one of the top 40 film programs in the United States and Canada by MovieMaker Magazine. OCCC is proud to be a leading educational and workforce contributor to the film industry.”
About Oklahoma City Community College:
Celebrating 50 years of providing unique educational opportunities for students in 2022, Oklahoma City Community College serves students preparing for college, working toward a degree or certificate or taking classes for personal enrichment. Approximately 17,000 students take courses offering college credit in more than 60 associate degree or certificate programs that lead to continued education at a four-year institution or entry into the workforce upon graduation. For more information, visit www.occc.edu.
About Prairie Surf Media:
Prairie Surf Media (PSM) is an Oklahoma City-based global production company focused on multi-platform content creation. Through its innovative and transformative leadership team, the company has accelerated the growth of streaming, television and film production in Oklahoma. With decades of combined experience in the entertainment industry, PSM is the state’s undisputed category leader. PSM is co-founded by Oklahoma natives, Rachel Cannon and Matt Payne.www.prairiesurf.com
About Work Ready Oklahoma:
Work Ready Oklahoma is a program funded by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and overseen by Public Strategies that assists low-income Oklahomans by giving them the skills and support needed to have healthy relationships, achieve self-sufficiency, and provide financially for their families. Work Ready Oklahoma serves Oklahomans eligible for safety net services, the unemployed or underemployed, veterans and individuals re-entering society from incarceration. www.workreadyoklahoma.com
About Film Education Institute of Oklahoma:
Film Education Institute of Oklahoma (FEIO) is a non-profit that aims to educate future filmmakers, and connect them to the film industry by providing networking opportunities, educational workshops and supplemental educational resources. FEIO is an ally and advocate for filmmakers, ensuring that Oklahoma has a place in the worldwide filmmaking community for years to come. www.feiok.org
OCCC – Robert M. Ruiz, firstname.lastname@example.org / (405) 414-0444
Prairie Surf Media – Beth Harrison, email@example.com / (405)625-5258
Work Ready Oklahoma – Brittany Attaway, firstname.lastname@example.org / (405) 833-8091
FEIO – Maggie Berry, email@example.com / (405) 513-2921