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


“What we have achieved at the USC academy is that to be more effective we need to reach out to these kids earlier,” said Mr. Iovine.

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

About two weeks ago, Clooney said, he raised the issue at a dinner with Eric Fellner, co-chair of Working Title Films. Mr Fellner told him about becoming a co-founder in 2018 of a London school to tackle the same issue in the UK film industry.

Mr Clooney said he pitched the idea to Bryan Lourd, the co-chair of CAA, whose arts agency helped support Los Angeles Unified during the pandemic. Within days, he said, Beutner introduced them to district officials who ran a small magnet program at the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, which caters primarily to 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 around 120 students and a program to be planned by teachers and district 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, producer and wife of Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix; Mr. Fellner’s co-chair at Working Title Films, Tim Bevan; and actors Kerry Washington and Mindy Kaling.

Mr Lourd said the group plans to involve a wide 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 stuff,” said Mr. Lourd, using the term show business for specialized work. behind the camera.


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