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George Clooney’s New Cause: A Public High School in Los Angeles

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“What we realized at the U.S.C. academy is that to be more effective, we have to get to these kids earlier,” Mr. Iovine said.

Mr. Clooney and his producing partner, Grant Heslov, said they had come to a similar conclusion as they sought to diversify hiring on their productions. “You want a more diverse crew,” Mr. Heslov said, “but there’s just not enough trained people out there.”

About two weeks ago, Mr. Clooney said, he mentioned the issue over dinner to Eric Fellner, the co-chairman of Working Title Films. Mr. Fellner told him about becoming a co-founder in 2018 of a London school to address the same issue in the British film industry.

Mr. Clooney said he floated the idea to Bryan Lourd, the co-chairman at C.A.A., whose talent agency had helped support Los Angeles Unified during the pandemic. Within days, he said, Mr. Beutner had introduced them to district officials running a small magnet program at the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, which serves mostly low-income students.

Eleven days later, they had agreed to open the Roybal School of Film and Television Production, built from the seed of that magnet program, with an initial enrollment of about 120 students and a curriculum that will be planned by district teachers and staff and industry professionals.

In addition to Mr. Clooney, Mr. Heslov, Mr. Cheadle, Mr. Lourd, Mr. Fellner and Ms. Longoria, the advisory board will include Nicole Avant, a producer and the wife of Ted Sarandos, the co-chief executive of Netflix; Mr. Fellner’s co-chairman at Working Title Films, Tim Bevan; and the actors Kerry Washington and Mindy Kaling.

Mr. Lourd said the group was planning to involve a broad range of colleagues, craft guilds and entertainment companies. “There are 160,000 union jobs below the line in the entertainment industry — 750,000 if you include digital work and all the other things,” said Mr. Lourd, using the show business term for specialized work behind the camera.

Read More: George Clooney’s New Cause: A Public High School in Los Angeles

2021-06-21 09:00:12

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