Training to work in the film industry is part of unique university partnership

10/09/2017 02:48 PM

WILMORE – Kentucky’s growing film industry needs more skilled workers, and a new workforce development partnership between the Kentucky Film Office and Asbury University is aimed at that need.

The goal of the Kentucky Film Initiative is to provide additional local workers to work on film crews throughout the state.

So far this year the Kentucky Film Office has approved 136 movies for production, and there’s a need for Kentuckians to help on set. Dr. Jim Owens, Dean of the Asbury School of Communication Arts, knows that the demands are already there for more trained workers.

“Here at Asbury, we’ve gotten a significant increase in the number of calls asking do you have people who are qualified to jump right in to some of these jobs,” Owens said.

The program is set up in a way where prospective students decide what type of skill they want to learn.

“They’re ten different certification tracks and they range from people working with lights, basic electric skills, to set construction which would include painting, building sets; the skills are different than normal construction because when you build a home, you build for permanence, when you build it for a set for film, it’s temporary,” Owens said.

Certification is obtained by completing a series of online courses taught by Hollywood professionals followed by hands-on classes led by Kentucky’s leading industry professionals.

The cost for classes ranges from $200 to $1,000 depending on the amount of work it takes to participate in the training.

“Our goal has been that they can recoup that money in the first two weeks of working on a professional production,” Owens said.

Asbury’s Communication Arts department has been in existence for over three decades.

The university offers Master’s Degree programs in Television Production, Digital Storytelling and Screenwriting.

To date, Asbury graduates have earned close to 50 Emmy Awards and 60 Oscar nominations while working on over 150 theatrically released films and over 300 television network productions.


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