LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Transforming Futures: Developing Hollywood's Next Generation

Idea by Reel Start

Reel Start students take part in our program while in high school, collaborating with entertainment industry volunteers like Michael Pena and Seth Rogen to develop and produce a short film. During their time in the program, we learn their strengths, dreams, and career aspirations. Upon graduation, we place students in entry-level positions and paid internships. This new career placement program, Reel Steps, ensures that our students have access and the skills needed to thrive in the demanding and fast-paced world of film and TV.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Access to Creative Industry Employment (sponsored by the Snap Foundation)

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles


In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Hollywood is not representative of its consumers. At Reel Start we are informed by data and existing strategies, along with firsthand accounts, to address the challenges around access to entry-level industry positions and systemic barriers to the industry for BIPOC youth. To date, we've served 125 young people from historically marginalized communities and through survey data and direct dialogue we've identified the following needs: -Soft skills/professional etiquette guidance -Support to develop resumes and prepare for interviews -Understanding and preparation to take on the the requirements of entry-level roles -Access to reliable transportation Alongside job readiness training and resume/interview prep support, transportation has become a leading barrier to beginning a career in an industry with long hours and no tolerance for delay.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

This grant will support Reel Start's new career placement program, Reel Steps. The Reel Steps program has been developed to address the issues highlighted by our program graduates, industry partners, and education advisors to promote equity and a level playing field for our youth from the LA Unified School District who seek to pursue careers in the entertainment industry. By leveraging our industry connections, we hope to bring in speakers and coaches for our Reel Steps students to prepare them for careers in the industry. Specifically, Reel Steps seeks to: -Educate our students about career opportunities available in the industry, prepare them with the skills and support needed to secure an interview, and obtain and retain an industry job in production, post-production, animation, and screenwriting. -Pair resume writing and interview prep coaches 1:1 with students for a 1-month intensive workshop followed by ongoing 1:1 support as needed -Formalize Reel Steps' job training curriculum, hosting 4-week workshops bi-annually for our students -Provide access to reliable transportation for all Reel Steps students through strategic partnerships with ride share services Through implementing the goals shared above and working with our already established partnerships with studios, production companies, and equipment vendors, we will connect qualified work-ready graduates with jobs and paid internships.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Today, women and BIPOC LA County residents are drastically underrepresented in Hollywood, perpetuating the "otherness" that exists between Hollywood's major studios and the 9.8 million LA county residents. In recent years Hollywood has made great strides in addressing its systemic failures around representation, including setting critical hiring mandates and reworking existing policies to consider the needs of historically marginalized communities. If Reel Steps is a success, we will see an immediate return on investment in the form of more local hires across the entertainment industry. We will see a greater number of local, BIPOC youth from LA county entering the Hollywood workforce, equipped and empowered to succeed. We also hope to see our participants serve as mentors and advocates in their respective communities - broadening our reach at the community level.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Reel Steps is a new program at Reel Start that we began piloting in 2022. To build on our initial findings, The Reel Steps program will look at the following key performance indicators: -Completion of the design and curriculum for our formalized training module by November 30, 2023 -The number of students enrolled in the Reel Steps program (year 1 goal = 25) -The number of successful industry job and internship placements (year 1 goal = 10) -Job and internship placement retention rate (goal = 90%+ by year 1, 80%+ by years 2 and 3) -Reel Steps participant satisfaction to be measured via 1:1 conversations and a bi-annual survey -Employer satisfaction to be measured via dialogue with employment partners and a bi-annual survey In addition to those metrics we foster safe and open dialogues with both graduates and industry partners. This allows us to identify areas where participants need additional support, advocate for their needs, and evolve our programming.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 100

Indirect Impact: