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Metro Technology Centers’ and Oklahoma’s Largest Film Festival Host Annual Film Camp

Metro Tech and deadCenter University Team Up for the Eighth Year to Expose Highschool Students to the Many Aspects of the Film Industry

OKLAHOMA CITY – For eight years, Metro Technology Centers’ Visual Arts Program has teamed up with the local deadCenter Film Festival to host deadCenter University. This two-day intensive film camp has been planned and organized with the goal of exposing ninth through twelfth graders to the many aspects of the film industry through hands-on experiences. This year’s camp was held at Green Pastures Film Studio in Spencer and Castle Row Studios in Del City, and paid host to over 20 film industry professionals.

The deadCenter Film Festival is Oklahoma’s largest film festival, and since 2003, it has grown into one of the most well-known film festivals that features award-winning education initiatives. In 2015, just a few years after the beginning of deadCenter University, Harry Wolohon, long time film professional, Metro Tech Digital Cinema Educator and Director of deadCenter University, proposed that Metro Technology Centers’ partner with deadCenter University when he saw the growing popularity of the local film festival. “The festival brings so many filmmakers to town, and I wanted our students to have a front row seat for that,” Wolohon said. “Even though they also get great hands-on experience through Metro Tech, this was just another opportunity to get even more.”

Since then, Wolohon has been joined by Lori Lyons, Metro Tech Workforce Development Coordinator, and Cathy Story, Process and Procedures Coordinator for Grants, Services, and Projects, to help facilitate the camp. “We are planting seeds in the next generation of filmmakers,” Lyons said. “There are so many traditional careers in film that people already know about. However, there are multiple industries that the film industry touches. You can have a non-traditional career in the film industry such as construction, electrical work, hair and makeup and costuming. The possibilities can be endless.” 

This year’s camp had over 50 ninth through twelfth grade students in attendance. Over 20 film industry professionals, many of whom were originally from Oklahoma, also participated in the camp. Photographers, screenwriters, producers, special FX make-up artists, stunt coordinators, actors, actresses, and more attended the first day of camp at Green Pastures Film Studio. “My goal is to try to have more people from every sector of the film industry each year, such as costuming, makeup and stunt artists,” Wolohon said. “That way, they can gain exposure to all the different aspects of the film industry.”

Film professionals in attendance had experience through participating in many award- winning productions such as, Melina Govich, Producer, Actress, Director and Broadway Performer from Norman, who has directed and produced numerous well-known TV shows like, “FBI: Most Wanted,” “Chicago Fire,” and “The Equalizer.” Govich has also acted in a number of productions such as the original, “Law and Order,” as the show’s only female detective.

Throughout the first day of camp, Govich and the other professionals led student groups through the process of producing a short film by taking the students through a four-scene process. Scene 1, the establishing scene, took place in a classroom setting. Scene 2, the conflict scene, took place in an apartment setting. Scene 3, the lead-up, took place in a pub setting, and scene 4, the ending, took place in a hospital setting. 

The last day of the camp at Castle Row Studios featured various panel sessions featuring more film industry professionals who shared career experience from working in the motion picture industry. Panel topics included, “Latino Representation in Film, “Everything Starts with a Story,” and educational panels included an actors panel, the production crew with the FX TV show, Reservation Dogs and a director and producer panel. All students that were in attendance also received passes to attend the deadCenter Film Festival with a parent or guardian.

Wolohon noted that the camp has undoubtedly accelerated in student attendance and professional participation throughout the years. “It started with just enough students to have maybe one group that will get to make a short film,” Wolohon said. “Now, we have enough students to have four groups with 15-20 students in each group. The one-on-one with the industry professionals that the students get to have by splitting up into groups is the most valuable aspect of this camp. You can go to any other film camp, but I don’t think you’re going to get to hang out with an executive producer of ‘FBI: Most Wanted.’ This camp is just an amazing way to give incredible and unique networking and educational opportunities to students who are interested in pursuing a career in the film industry.”

  • Press Release

Metro Technology Centers
One of the largest and most diverse technology centers in Oklahoma, Metro Tech has four campuses offering short-term, career and customized business training. Campuses are located in South Oklahoma City, Northeast Oklahoma City, the Will Rogers Airport and Downtown Oklahoma City. www.metrotech.edu

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