Lights, Camera, Action: Tri-C grads make movie magic
April 26, 2017
Nine members of the film crew shooting Matthew McConaughey’s latest movie in Cleveland gained their on-the-set skills through programs at Cuyahoga Community College.
The College helped connect program graduates with producers who needed workers for behind-the-scenes jobs filming White Boy Rick, a crime drama starring McConaughey and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Production began at the end of March.
Three recent Tri-C graduates who earned associate degrees — Richard Fishburn of Strongsville, Steve Fixel of Parma and Aidan Fabian of Rocky River — landed jobs on the movie.
A fourth, Chris Leszkowicz of Brecksville, will receive his associate degree in May.
The rest of the students earned certificates earlier this year from Tri-C’s Film Crew Training Workshop. The College created the intensive five-week course to build the workforce needed to support Northeast Ohio’s fast-growing film industry.
Workshop graduates hired for White Boy Rick include Virginia Beischlag of Parma, Brian Bowles of Westlake, Stephanie Chrin of Westlake, Andres Garcia of Cleveland and Joe Loszack of Cleveland.
“Studios shooting movies in Cleveland look to hire as many local crew members as possible,” said Lee Will, program manager of the College’s Student Production Office. “Those jobs go to people who can walk onto a set and know what to do, and producers know they can find those skilled workers at Tri-C.”
The next Film Crew Training Workshop begins in January 2018. For information, call Will at 216-987-0252.
White Boy Rick, scheduled for release in 2018, tells the real-life story of Richard Wershe Jr. As a teen in the 1980s, Wershe served as an FBI informant in Detroit before being arrested for drug trafficking and sentenced to life in prison.
Cleveland is serving as a stand-in for Detroit, where only a few scenes will be shot, according to various media reports.