With Colorado becoming a more prominent filming location, being the backdrop to movies such as “Our Souls at Night” and “Furious 7”, it is increasingly important to develop Colorado’s film industry. For some film students, it may seem obvious and even inevitable to move to a big cinema city like Los Angeles or New York City to get the experience they need, but with the Media Professionals Career Connections Road Tour, the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media (COFTM) is hoping to change that perception and build Colorado’s workforce.
The Media Professionals Career Connections Road Tour presented by COFTM is an annual educational panel tour that features film industry professionals at several Colorado colleges and universities, meant to help film students connect with the industry and help them start their careers.
With each panel, specialists discuss how they began their film careers and how they continue to grow as filmmakers, writers, actors and entrepreneurs. Following each panel session is a Q&A and meet-and-greet session encouraging students to network.
“It’s commonplace, when you’re a student, that you might want to get into the business, but with no idea about how to get into it,” Donald Zuckerman, the Colorado Film Commissioner said at a 2016 panel. “If you do it, you have to start somewhere.”
In addition to developing a repertoire between professionals and students, the Road Tour provides real-time understanding of the movie industry. As the world continues to change, so does how the film industry operates–something that may not be reflected in a classroom. This was apparent with Haylar Garcia, a screenwriter from Rumble Pack Commercial Creative Group, who informed the audience at a 2016 panel that many screenwriters are no longer writing scripts, but pitching intellectual property to a studio before writing anything.
As a creative workforce development program, the Road Tour is not only teaching students how to make the most of their early careers, but encouraging students to stay in Colorado.
“We are debunking the idea that you can only thrive in this business in LA or New York,” said Zuckerman. “We are building Colorado’s workforce by exposing the strength of Colorado’s film industry to students through an intimate and non-intimidating setting.”
Previous tours have taken place at the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado Mesa University, and more, along with collaborating with groups like Starz, Comcast, the Screen Actors Guild and many independent film writers, producers and actors.
The 2017 Media Professionals Career Connections Road Tour begins this fall. Learn more here.