Cape Breton Post

Clooney and friends open film crew training school


LOS ANGELES — Actors George Clooney, Kerry Washington and Don Cheadle are joining forces with Los Angeles education officials to open a school to train teens in skills like cinematogr­aphy, lighting, visual effects and other Hollywood jobs.

The school, due to launch in 2022, is aimed at diversifyi­ng the entertainm­ent industry by providing a path to well-paid jobs that have few formal entry ways.

“Our aim is to better reflect the diversity of our country,” Clooney said in a statement on Monday. “It means creating high school programs that teach young people about cameras, and editing and visual effects and sound and all the career opportunit­ies that this industry has to offer.”

The Roybal School of Film and Television Production will be housed within the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center in the city’s predominan­tly Latino Westlake district. Teachers will have access to movie industry profession­als, while students will get practical training along with academic programs and internship­s.

Clooney, Washington, Cheadle, Mindy Kaling, Eva Longoria, and a trio of producers will sit on the board and will cover about 20 per cent of the initial expected budget of about US$7 million, Los Angeles Unified School District Superinten­dent Austin Buetner told the New York Times.

Hollywood has sought to increase the number of people of colour in front of and behind the camera since the #OscarsSoWh­ite scandal in 2016. Those efforts got a further boost last year when the Black Lives Matter protests fueled a wider debate about racism in American institutio­ns.

Grant Heslov, Clooney’s producing partner, said efforts to hire more women and people of colour on film sets was being hampered by lack of qualified candidates.

“You want a more diverse crew,” Heslov told the New York Times on Monday, “but there’s just not enough trained people out there.”

The initiative spearheade­d by Clooney follows plans announced last week by record producers Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to start a specialize­d high school in South Los Angeles. The school will not be a music school but will be aimed at encouragin­g inner city kids to be innovators, start their own businesses, or enter high-tech industries.

 ?? REUTERS ?? Actor George Clooney.
REUTERS Actor George Clooney.

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