Hundreds of students will soon be ready for their close-ups. A new school specializing in movie and television production is coming to the Westlake District area of Los Angeles.
The brand new school is backed by some serious star power and looks to provide children, especially those from underserved communities, with a pathway to employment within the film and TV industry.
George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington and Mindy Kaling are among the list of celebrities working with the Los Angeles Unified School District to open the new campus called "Roybal School of Film and Television Production," which will be housed within the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center.
“Our aim is to better reflect the diversity of our country. That means starting early. 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. It means internships that lead to well-paying careers. It means understanding that we’re all in this together,” Clooney said.
The specialized academy will provide LAUSD teachers with access to industry professionals and experts, and students will receive real-world experience through a dedicated internship initiative, according to LAUSD.
"Physics is involved in the choice of a lens by a cinematographer, math is part of the foundation for a musical score in a film, critical thinking skills are needed to design a set, screenwriters need a foundation in literacy, and a make-up artist needs to know chemistry of the different materials they might use -- all of this will be tied into the curriculum at the school," said LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner.
The inaugural program will be overseen by Principal Blanca Cruz and will feature a specifically designed curriculum developed to meet the standards prescribed by the state of California and the University of California system.
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"We are really excited about this remarkable opportunity for collaboration and learning," Cruz said. "Not only will it provide our students much-needed resources to support their hands-on learning experiences that are relevant in the entertainment industry, but it will also offer them the guidance and expertise needed to help them realize their inherent potential."
The Roybal School of Film and Television Production will start with 9th and 10th-grade students, and will then include Grades 11 and 12 over the next two years with the opportunity to expand the pilot program to more schools throughout the LA area, according to LAUSD.
The school opens in the Fall of 2022.