That’s right, HUGE film productions are planning to film in Oklahoma very soon, and that means they’ll need people like YOU to work on set. Whether you have experience or you’re entry-level, productions will be hiring a wide range of skills. With more than 50 job categories in the industry, crew positions range from camera assistant to transportation drivers, electricians and production assistants, you name it. That’s where you come in! CNFO is here to help you prepare your film knowledge so you’re ready to work when productions start hiring!

You may be asking yourself, where do I even start? No problem! These days, everything is virtually at your fingertips. First, you can check out to let us know where you might best fit in the film industry. Second, you can get certified with the Film Crew 101 Certification program, sponsored by CNFO and hosted by the Oklahoma Film & TV Academy. The Film Crew 101 podcast is a new, FREE podcast series where people in the industry pull back the curtain on the roles that go into making a film or series. If you are interested in a career in film and TV or looking to grow your existing career, this podcast is for you.

You can even take it one step further and become certified as crew by the Oklahoma Film and Television Academy by taking part in the podcast series certification program! All you have to do is listen to a number of podcasts at your own pace and pass an online test for each film department to get your certification. It’s that easy!

Take it from Cherokee Nation citizen Rachel Purget, who recently completed the program. She’s worked on several big film sets such as Fox Studios and still found the podcast helpful. She says she increased her knowledge of film and important lingo and plans to use her new OFTA certification to be hired when film productions come to Oklahoma. Did we mention that’s happening VERY soon?

We asked Rachel a few behind-the-scenes questions about her certification experience. We hope her words inspire you to get your certification, too, so you’ll be ready to be hired as crew on the next film set!

Cherokee Nation citizen Rachel Purget

CNFO: Have you ever worked in the film and/or television industries before?

Rachel Purget: I have been on several sets and on location while filming but never as a part of the crew. I have had the opportunity to be on set at the big sound stages at Fox Studios with “Fresh Off The Boat” and on location with movies like “Dog Days.” My son is an actor so I’ve been with him bouncing from set to set for almost seven years. I’m never just a bystander on set. It’s hard for me to just sit still and watch the production. I always offer to help the crew or director. I’ve “helped” with lights and sound; managing background actors, props, hair and makeup; crafting; being a stand-in for actors; and even worked a camera. I ask a lot of questions, offer a helping hand and have learned many things by just being a “helper” on set. I’m a teacher and never miss an opportunity to learn something new. I enjoy the production side of the film industry, and that’s why I applied for the scholarship for Film Crew 101 to help me crossover from a “helper’ to an actual crew member.

What was the process of the Film Crew 101 Certification program?

The process of the course for Film Crew 101 was very unique. The course is all virtual with a series of lessons in the form of a podcast, with quizzes at the end of each topic. The podcasts had an impressive lineup of interviews from experts in the film industry. Each podcast went into great detail about every position in the film industry, including very entertaining personal stories. I got to set my own pace for the course. Since it was all virtual lessons, I could take it anytime, anywhere, but my favorite time was at the end of the day. I’d lie in bed and, instead of watching TV, I’d wind down by listening to a lesson and taking notes. 

What are some key takeaways or new things you learned from the podcast series?

One of the most useful things I use from the lessons is I made a list of key terms or lingo that was used throughout all the lessons: lockup, BG breakdown, copy that, above the line/below the line, prelim, one-liner. These words may be common on set, but if you’ve never been educated on what they mean, they will mean nothing when you hear them come over a walkie-talkie. Another thing that was very useful was learning the hierarchy of who answers to who and how the responsibilities are delegated.  It takes a small army of people to make a production come together, and everyone has to know their place. An overall theme that every lesson had was be kind on set, help each other out and learn names.

What are your future plans after receiving the certification?

After receiving the certification, I plan to implement it on a small scale when I film shorts for my social media company, Wheelhouse Media. However, on a larger scale I plan to take more courses and eventually work as a PA, and then eventually produce and direct films that help Native Americans tell their story and that can educate and entertain future generations. Now that more and more productions are being filmed in Oklahoma, I hope to get my chance to work on set soon!

Ready to get certified? You can listen to this podcast and register for the certification program at:

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