ORU Students Preparing for Careers in Cinema as Filmmaking in Oklahoma Booms

News 6 - April 24, 2023 6:26 am


CBS calls Oklahoma, the “Hollywood on the prairie” when it comes to making TV shows and movies. It’s become big business in the sooner state and students at Oral Roberts University are learning how to make it their career one day.

Students in the cinema and television program at ORU have a lot of early mornings, group projects and hands-on activities.

Michaela Ray is a junior in the program. She says after being in a tragic car accident as a child, that severely injured her, she knew she wanted to be able to tell people’s stories.

“It really got me into the love of storytelling and that’s what got me into media,” Ray said.

She is currently putting together 10 short films in her advanced filmmaking class.

She says it’s a lot of hard work, but the feedback from her professors has helped her grow.

“I got to write, direct and now I am editing my short film,” Ray said.

David Ray is a professor and says the students bring a wide variety of experiences to his classroom.

“It’s all about storytelling. Storytelling really is the heart of what we’re raising up these students to do,” Ray said.

He says loves being able to share real-world experiences with his students.

“They’ve really got things inside of them they want to tell. We’re helping them give the tools whether that’s actually operating the cameras, the lights and the microphones or putting the words down on paper for them to craft what tale they want to tell. It’s really a whole picture,” Ray said.

From the moment the students enter the program as freshmen, they get to use the equipment and jump right into the classes that will someday lead to their careers.

“Oklahoma is becoming a huge film industry for sure and a lot more opportunities especially for students who are trying to get into the field,” Ray said.

ORU is currently building which will house their performing arts department.

The building will be called the Media Arts Center (MAC).

The project is supposed to be completed in 2024.


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