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State Film Office Hosting Workforce Training Seminar

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A two-day, hands-on workforce training master class hosted by the West Virginia Film Office will be held Dec. 6-7 in Charleston and Dec. 8-9 in Fairmont. Skills training will be provided by film industry veteran Demian Resnick, a New York-based location manager, who will focus on skill sets needed to become a location scout.

Pam Haynes, director of the West Virginia Film Office, said the master class is a key component for building upon the state's film industry labor pool.
"Through hands-on instruction and interactive scouting demonstrations and activities, participants in the master class will learn the basic fundamentals of location scouting as well as an overview of location management," she said. "The added impact for our state is, when a region has a skilled labor pool with a strong understanding of the unique needs of the film industry, it becomes a built-in financial incentive for companies filming on location because it reduces the burden of having to hire specialized workers from out of state."
Lisa Wells, industry relations coordinator for the film office, said, "One of our core goals is to identify the best avenues to assist West Virginia residents who want to learn a new skill set and expand their chances of being hired on productions filming in the state."
Location scouts are among the first people hired on a film production. Scouts search for, photograph and secure filming locations based on a script and requests from producers, directors and other production personnel. Every production, regardless of size, requires location scouting and management.
Anyone is welcome to attend the classes, from those already working in the industry who want to brush up their skills to those with no experience who desire to break into the industry. Current West Virginia residents who complete the training will be eligible to become listed in the category of 'location scout' in the film office's online Crew Directory, which is the go-to resource for productions looking to hire workers on location.
"Normally, to become listed, a worker must have one professional credit for a certain skill set," Wells said. "We hope that anyone who has yet to be hired on a production, but has a strong desire to work in the film industry, will take advantage of this program."
Demian Resnick is considered one of the industry's top location managers for feature films, television productions, and commercials. Starting his career as a production assistant, he quickly moved to the locations department, where he gained the majority of his experience. A few of Resnick's credits include "Super 8","Cloverfield", "Almost Famous", "Celebrity Apprentice", "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", and "Without A Trace."
All participants are required to bring a digital still camera.  A laptop computer is recommended but not mandatory.  Also, participants should wear appropriate clothing and shoes for outdoor photography.
Although the classes are entry-level focused, people with experience are also encouraged to attend.
"Even those with other film industry skill sets could benefit from the classes," said Wells. "The more hats you wear, the greater the likelihood of being hired. We hosted a Production Assistant Training Seminar in June and many of the participants were immediately hired by a feature film that was shooting in Beckley and a cable network mini-series that recently filmed in the Eastern Panhandle."
The master classes will begin each day at 9:00 a.m. and wrap at 6 p.m. The South Charleston session will be held at the Holiday Inn and Suites, 400 Second Avenue. The Fairmont session will be held at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center, I-79 Technology Park, 1000 Galliher Drive. Breakfast and lunch will be provided both days of each session. Advance registration is mandatory due to limited seating in order to maximize attention to each participant. If you are not a current member of the film office's online Crew Directory, register by November 12 and pay $50. After November 12, the cost will be $60. Current members of the film office's online Crew Directory pay $45. High school senior and current college students can take advantage of the class for $25.
Registration is open now. To get a spot in one of the master class sessions, email Lisa Wells at wvfilm@wv.gov for instructions, or for additional workshop questions, call 304-957-9366.
The West Virginia Film Office is a section of the West Virginia Division of Tourism, under the West Virginia Department of Commerce. Visit the film office at www.wvfilm.com.