California Film Commission
and California Department of Education
Career Readiness Program

The California Department of Education (CDE) is partnering with the California Film Commission (CFC) to provide career readiness opportunities for California’s students enrolled in the Arts, Media, and Entertainment (AME) industry sector. Through this partnership, film and video production companies provide a variety of “career readiness” opportunities for both students and teachers. Each heading below offers a specific type of interaction with high school students or their teachers that are directly aligned to the State Superintendent’s Career Readiness Initiative.

Below are the links that will take you to each Career Readiness Activity in which a production company can participate. 

The information in red is in the CFC regulations and defines a particular Career readiness activity in which a production company can participate. Below is a brief description of how this particular activity increases career readiness, followed by links to forms and resources production companies will need to provide to secondary students, their teachers, or programs.

The California Film Commission Career Readiness Program has been updated with new requirements that can be found here: Program Overview 3.0

Please forward completed forms to both: incentiveprogram3@film.ca.gov  and afrenzel@cde.ca.gov

Studio/ Professional Production Tours

CFC Criteria: Provide students enrolled in an accredited community college a minimum of 8 hours of studio or production company tours, which may include set visit and/or set construction, wardrobe department, art department, and editorial department.

Careers in the Film and Television industry take place at a wide variety of locations from preproduction and management in company offices to studio and on location production settings, to post-production facilities for sound, editing, and special effects. Providing guided access to your facilities and locations is a great way for students to see how the entertainment industry works “behind the scenes.” Whether it be hosted access to a studio, sound-stage, set visit, or a trip to a control room or post-production facility, this would provide the student with a greater understanding of the working environments and collaborative interaction of career professionals in the entertainment industry.

Studio/Professional Production Tour Examples:

  • Students visit a working set with time set aside to speak to working professionals and to ask questions.
  • Students tour a studio, sound-stage, or facility to provide a detailed understanding of how these facilities operate and/or are utilized by motion picture or television productions.
  • Arrange an on-site experience with a vendor (such as JL Fisher, Avid, or Panavision) to showcase the various tools of the trade and familiarize students with state-of-the-art equipment and its uses.
  • A “fly on the wall” experience for a student. Examples: Sit in on a development meeting; attend a production concept meeting with director, production designer, cinematographer and/or producer; or visit a writer’s room.
  • Observing an aspect of postproduction, such as a sound mix, ADR Foley and/or Color-correction session,
  • Visual Effect shot review with visual artists and director, and/or an editing session.An opportunity to visit an industry event, such as the upfronts, NAB, NATPE, or AFM.
  • Q&A with on-staff department heads.

For more information on this new CFC Career Readiness Grant program click the links below or contact Allison Frenzel, California Department of Education, AME Industry Sector Lead, at afrenzel@cde.ca.gov

Classroom Workshops

CFC Criteria: Provide students enrolled in an accredited Arts, Media and Entertainment Program access to a virtual, live or pre-recorded tutorial, demonstration, or “career overview” of their role in the film or television pre-production, production, or post-production process that could be archived and access by the classroom CTE teacher to provide professional insight into a particular aspect of production.

One of the most effective means of increasing students’ career readiness is direct contact with practicing professionals. Keeping educators informed of industry changes helps us better prepare students for success in the film industry. While live contact is optimal, pre-recorded or virtual tutorials can be developed to accommodate social distancing.

Below are some suggestions:

  • Industry professionals (including below the line (BTL) department heads and crew) are invited to give guest lectures, in-class demonstrations, or pre-recorded or live streamed “master class” presentations that can be accessed at local school sites. Coming on campus when allowable, to work with faculty and students or to record or share via live-stream a virtual career focused presentation is a rewarding way to share the expertise gained through years of industry experience.
  • Reaching a larger audience by presenting at state or regional live or virtual conferences can also assist Film and Television instructors in delivering the most up-to-date information to their students at the school site.
  • Production companies can structure their commitment by combining individual classroom, lecture, and/or virtual career readiness presentations.
  • Help with curriculum development to provide authentic, industry-related assignment.
  • Record how-to videos that can be utilized across multiple campuses.
  • Hosting a virtual workshop on a particular aspect of production or post- production can be a great way to serve students, instructors, and administrators.

Classroom Workshop Examples:

Give a guest lecture
  • Example: A cinematographer visits a camera class and gives insights into new technologies being implemented in the camera department or provides a virtual tour of the latest equipment used to shoot on set or in various types of locations.
  • A production manager can record or live-stream an overview tutorial on the changes to set or location-based production to accommodate Covid-19 safety protocols.
  • An AD or line producer could pre-record a tutorial on their process for scheduling and creating a call sheets and other production documents using industry-specific software.
Provide a classroom or virtual demonstration
  • Example: An editor shows students how to do parallel editing from three camera studio sessions
  • Example: A cameraman demonstrates the menu structure of a Red or Arri camera
  • Example: A Digital Imaging Technician explains the protocols of transferring footage from data card to computer and proper backup procedure
Attend student and faculty career day presentations
  • Example: Provide an overview of the production process featuring a number of industry pros
Help develop and revise current curriculum

For more information on this new CFC Career Readiness Grant program click the links below or contact Allison Frenzel, California Department of Education, AME Industry Sector Lead, at afrenzel@cde.ca.gov

Teacher Externships (Professional Learning)

CFC Criteria: Provide continuing education for educators and/or faculty to observe specialized departments or techniques in the production process. Companies could also provide AME educators an opportunity for a virtual job shadow or audit a virtual production meeting or meetings of a particular department.

Teachers in AME Film and Video classrooms are required to have “professional experience” in the industry. But in some cases this experience may be limited to a single aspect of production or may have taken place when production methods and equipment were significantly different. Professional “externships” for secondary teachers afford them the opportunity to “keep current” with professional practice and experience all aspects of the Film and Television Production industry. Engaging an AME educator to spend a day or more at your site, shadowing/working with a professional, can greatly impact their ability to impart authentic career practices to their students.

 Faculty Development Examples:

  • Attend a live or virtual meeting in which a script is broken down into visual effects shots
  • Participate in a live or virtual planning session for a motion capture or green screen shoot and observe the filming
  • Spend a day with a post-production supervisor to better understand today’s delivery elements for film and television
  • Observe or record a live or virtual spotting session with a director and composer and/or spend time with the composer to better understand the latest music technology
  • Attend a 3-D film shoot and discuss the technology with the D.P.
  • Attend a color correction session to gain up-to-date knowledge of the latest tools

For more information on this new CFC Career Readiness Grant program click the links below or contact Allison Frenzel, California Department of Education, AME Industry Sector Lead, at afrenzel@cde.ca.gov

Student Internships

CFC Criteria: Provide students enrolled in an accredited high school or community college:

  • 3 paid internship positions for a minimum of 100 hours each.
  • A combination of internships or internship with a minimum of 100 hours per student and a total 300 hours.
  • Internship experience should include working with professionals in film industry and hands-on work assignments.

Student Internships are an essential component of Career Technical Education (CTE).  Internships provide the technical training and hands-on experience students need to be truly “career ready.” High school students 18 years of age or older are eligible to participate. High School students who are involved in an internship will be better prepared for success as upcoming film industry workers. Internships can be within the film project’s departments such as the production office, on set, or post-production. Internships can also take place inside a production company or studio department, e.g., development, accounting, production, construction, studio operations, costume shop, sound services, and/or video mastering.

Ideal positions give interns in-depth exposure to a particular department, as well as an opportunity to explore the breadth of jobs available in the entertainment business.

Student Internship Examples:

  • Art department internship that includes preliminary drafting experience with software such as Storyboard Pro
  • General production assistant internship
  • Apprenticeship in how to break down a script for a specific department
  • Working with wardrobe department on aspects of costuming, e.g., how to distress clothes, continuity, costume design, alterations, dyeing.
  • Interning with makeup department to learn aspects of the trade: aging, prosthetics, beauty makeup

For more information on this new CFC Career Readiness Grant program click the links below or contact Allison Frenzel, California Department of Education, AME Industry Sector Lead, at afrenzel@cde.ca.gov

Direct Financial Contribution

CFC Criteria: Make a financial contribution to the CDE Foundation for arts, media, and entertainment career oriented programs. Minimum financial contribution: Independent productions: $3,000, Non-independent productions: $5,000.

As the AME industry sector programs grow, direct monetary donations can have a positive impact for students enrolled in programs at the local school site. Direct financial support allows pre-professional training programs in public schools to keep up to date with current industry level professional practice. Direct cash donations will support:

Tax deductible donations can be made to a special Californian’s Dedicated to Education Fund to distribute supplemental funding to programs directly impacting public schools. Direct Donations to AME Career Readiness grants should be made through:

Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation

260 Main Street, Suite 200

Redwood City, CA 94063

Tax ID: 45-0676449

Code: AME in the memo portion of any checks or clearly identify as for the AME Career Readiness Grant Fund in a cover letter

For more information on this new CFC Career Readiness Grant program click the links below or contact Allison Frenzel, California Department of Education, AME Industry Sector Lead, at afrenzel@cde.ca.gov

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