Specialization: Craft Training

Course Overview

In the last five years Oklahoma has seen a 91% increase in the number of film and television jobs available in the state. Historically, many of these productions have to bring in experienced crew from out of state to supplement the existing Oklahoma crew base. This costs productions extra money in travel, hotel nights, per diems, car rental etc. Additionally, production spend on out of state labor do not qualify for the states 35% rebate - but as an Oklahoma citizen, you do! Productions have a big incentive to hire local and there are jobs available we just need to get you the knowledge and experience to fill these positions.

After mapping the current Oklahoma workforce and talking with producers who have recently shot in the State, OFTA has identified immediate gaps in the market that can be filled by newly trained Oklahomans. These fall into the seven key categories below.

  • Set Construction & Scenic Painting

  • Set Decoration & Props

  • Grip & Rigging

  • Lighting & Electric

  • Production Accounting

  • Costume & Dressers

  • Assistant Directing Team

Why no directing, producing, camera, editing or sound you might ask? These are highly specialized positions where the team have many years of experience and the number of job openings are minimal. That is not to say that there is not space in the market for you to grow your career in these areas however it is unlikely that your initial industry access point will be in these departments. If you are interested in a broader course to enable you to become a 'filmmaker' vs a member of the crew, there are a number of great courses at the university level and local career techs that can support your goal. 100% if our focus with OFTA is to train you so you have the skills needed for jobs that are available and being crewed up by Oklahoman's now.

In order to attend any of the specialization courses below, an applicant must have completed Film 101. This ensures all students are working from the same base knowledge and working vernacular. 

Ideal Candidates

Ideal candidates for the specialization courses include:

  • Individuals with transferable skills from other industries (construction, military, electric, accounting, etc.)

  • Individuals who have already had some professional experience on set and wish to start focusing the direction of their career.

  • On rare occasions, we would accept individuals who have shown extraordinary aptitude and commitment in the Film 101 class before having spent time working "in the field".

Once a student graduates from Film 101, an OFTA career councilor will discuss the options for moving on to specialization courses. 

Course Breakdown

​Set Construction & Scenic Painting

  • Setting up film construction mill and painting rooms

  • Set design & considerations when building

  • Selecting, preparing, organizing and managing relevant equipment & materials for the shoot and how they 'look' on camera

  • Sustainability and environmental training for green productions

  • Plastering and construction principles for location and studio shoots

  • Hazard and risk assessment together with evaluating and minimizing risk

  • Key suppliers and industry tricks

  • Building your own 'kit'

Set Decoration & Props

  • Design and dressing props

  • Reparation

  • Dressing lists

  • Set etiquette

  • Breaking down a script

  • Where to source props

  • Working with construction and locations team

  • Managing props with actors

  • Film materials to include in your 'kit' box (anti reflective spays etc.)

  • Sustainability and environmental training for green productions

  • Working with reshoots & pickups

  • Hazard and risk assessment together with evaluating and minimizing risk

Grip & Rigging

  • Planning & preparedness

  • Scaffolding and platforms for camera and lights

  • Working with construction and art department

  • Maintaining records of equipment

  • Sourcing equipment

  • Truck set up and storage

  • Understanding basic lighting rigs lighting technicians might ask for

  • Knowledge of diffusing materials, flags, and gobos

  • Materials and equipment you will need to bring

  • Sustainability and environmental training for green productions

  • Hazard and risk assessment together with evaluating and minimizing risk

Lighting & Electric

  • Select, prepare, organize and manage relevant equipment for a shoot

  • Understanding of electrical principles

  • Understanding the performance characteristics of lights (lamp wattage, throw, spread)

  • Organize effectively the accessories, including lamps, connectors, color filters and other ancillary equipment

  • Shaping quality and direction of light: soft/hard; high key/low key; upstage/downstage

  • Truck set up and storage

  • Working on a sound stage

  • Sourcing equipment

  • Generator placing and management

  • Sustainability and environmental training for green productions

  • Hazard and risk assessment together with evaluating and minimizing risk

Production Accounting

  • Production accounting roles & responsibilities

  • Legal issues and constraints

  • Cost implications

  • Cost reporting

  • Cashflow

  • Progress reporting

  • Insurance/finance/legal

  • Bond reporting

  • MovieMagic software

  • Defining Employer of Record

  • Time Cards

  • Payroll Processing Companies

  • Introduction to Union and Guilds

  • Privacy and Confidentiality in the Production Office

  • Rebate reporting and analysis

Costume & Dressers

  • Cast research

  • Mood boards and color schemes

  • Kit boxes

  • Fit and adjustment with undergarments

  • On-set modifications

  • Breaking down scripts

  • Costume continuity

  • Portfolio and visual examples

  • Buying and petty cash float management

  • Distressing costumes

  • Aging techniques

  • Materials orientation

  • Working with cast

Assistant Directing Team

  • Schedules

  • Forward planning

  • Movie Magic software

  • Communication with crew

  • Running the floor

  • Call sheets

  • Script supervision

  • Managing PA teams

  • Artist care

  • Health & safety

Where Do You Go From Here?

Those graduating the specialization courses have many options after completing the program. The two most common are:

  • Stepping right into the film production workforce.​

For many of our graduates they will be set up ready to take on junior positions in their area specialization. We will do everything we can to assist you in securing your first paid position.  

  • Continuing on to OFTA's On-set courses.​

Upon graduating an OFTA specialization course you will have the opportunity to apply to our On Set: Practical Training program. In this program we match you with a professional crew mentor where you will work on a professional film set mentored by a head of department who will fast track your learning and experience enabling you to take on more senior roles with low budget productions and rise through the ranks quicker with larger budget projects. 

Your Teachers

Our senior teaching staff – including Heads of Department and Course Leaders – are distinguished professionals with a host of credits and awards to their names.

They include celebrated production managers, gaffers, art directors, and first assistant directors. Credits include Black Panther, American Gods, Entourage, August: Osage County, Ugly Betty, & Wonder Woman, to pluck out just a few titles from hundreds.

This core team is supplemented by dozens of visiting tutors from across the creative industries, as well as a programme of masterclasses from leading names from across film & television.

Cost & Schedule

Specialization course fees are $1,750.


These courses run for a 4 week period weekends only and are scheduled to run every 2-3 months depending on both student and production company demands. 

Disclaimer: Film crew positions require varied and extensive skills be performed on the job. These courses of instruction are designed to teach specific skills that may be applicable to work on a film shoot, but there is no guarantee of employment upon successful completion of the program. Hiring is always a decision made by the designated hiring official associated with a given production.

Get in touch


© 2020 Oklahoma Film And Television Academy. 

C/o Green Pastures Studio

4300 N. Post Road, Spencer

Oklahoma 73084

Quick Links

Student Support