Kentuckians looking to get an entry-level, behind-the-scenes job in a movie or television production now have a chance to receive training through a program administered by Asbury University.
State and Asbury officials announced a certification program Tuesday on the Wilmore campus. Participants would learn to be a production assistant, a Steadicam operator or a grip, or to do set construction in the entertainment industry. There also are courses in camera and audio work, entertainment industry safety, and accounting and logistics.
The cost to participants ranges from $225 to $1,000, depending on the job track they want to pursue, said Jim Owens, dean of Asbury’s School of Communication Arts. Job pay will vary, too, but a Steadicam operator can make $600 to $800 a day.
People who sign up would go through two levels of certification. First they will complete online courses taught by Hollywood professionals. They also would attend hands-on classes.
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In the second level of certification, participants would work on at least five professional productions in their chosen job-specific role.
The training would be held at various locations in the state. “We want to work with other universities,” Owens said.
Some trade jobs require union membership. “We are working with the unions and talking to them, to say ‘How can we make this a smooth transition to get in?’” Owens said.
Participants will not have to enroll at Asbury, and instructors are not Asbury faculty but professionals in the state who have experience in the film and TV industry. “This is totally outside of our academic program,” Owens said.
Asbury teaches courses in direction, producing and screenwriting at its Miller Center for the Arts. “But those are not the basic skills that companies coming into the state need,” Owens said. “They’re looking for these base skills.”
Nearly 20 film projects were shot in Kentucky last year, 17 have already been filmed so far this year, and there are several more planned for this fall, according to a news release from Asbury.
People who are interested in the certification program should go to Kyfilmcertification.com.