A new film academy and studio will be moving into the old Green Pastures Elementary school in Spencer. The school was left vacant as part of the Oklahoma City School District’s Pathway to Greatness consolidation.
The school board voted Monday night to approve the sale of the former school to Green Pastures Studios for $300,000. Converting the now vacant school to a film studio and school will begin as soon as possible.
“We have big plans for bringing movies here,” said Melodie Garneau, who owns Green Pastures Studios along with Richard Janes and his wife Amy.
“My wife had a deal at Paramount Pictures, I was a screen writer at Walt Disney,” explained Janes. The couple saw enormous growth in the film business when they lived in Los Angeles. They loved their work but hated the traffic. They now live in Oklahoma and see the potential for a marquee industry here.
“With the new streaming wars that are going on and the billions of dollars more money that’s being spent on content, there’s an enormous opportunity for a state like Oklahoma to really capture that money,” said Janes.
The trio traveled to LA with Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell over the summer and met with studio heads.
“For us to get further movie production and television shows filmed in the state of Oklahoma we need sound stage infrastructure, we need a permeant workforce,” explained Pinnell.
With the purchase of the Green Pastures school the script is now set to make that happen. The Oklahoma Film and TV academy will lease space and classes should start next month. And Melody said they already have two films committed to using the studio space.
“It’s a true game changer for the state of Oklahoma when it comes to our film industry,” said Pinnell.
Anyone interested in becoming part of the film industry, not just actors but carpenters, electricians, and food service can take the classes. For more information, click here.