TULSA — As film and television productions continue to expand in Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation is helping prepare Native Americans to join the rapidly growing industry.
The tribe’s film office recently partnered with Tulsa artist Tate Steinsiek to introduce students to the field of special effects. The Cherokee Nation Film Office has provided full scholarships to Native American students interested in taking Steinsiek’s Introduction to FX Gore and Blood Gags for Film course.
“This is a great example of Indigenous people helping bring more Indigenous people into film and television and further demonstrates the limitless opportunities available in the industry,” said Jennifer Loren, Director of the Cherokee Nation Film Office. and Original Content. “Tate’s knowledge and ties to the film industry are invaluable assets. Her studio gives exposure to a craft not always emphasized in traditional film schools and provides students with one-on-one time with an experienced professional.
The one-day workshop introduces the materials, tools and process used to create special effects and includes the creation, application and use of prostheses. The class ends with the students filming their work and adding it to their FX reels.
“Bringing these Career Filmmaking Workshops to Native artists in Oklahoma is a very important initiative. Our artists need to know that there is no need to leave this state to pursue their creative dreams. We are here and we will build our local film community internally,” Steinsiek said. “The CNFO sponsoring students to attend my prosthetic makeup workshop not only helps Indigenous artists develop their professional knowledge and personal skills, but is definitely forging new networks among the students and even myself. I I will see some of them again in my studio; I can guarantee that.”
Steinsiek is a Native American director known for his award-winning talent in creating gore and horror elements as a special effects, prosthetic and concept artist. Since founding his makeup special effects company, Ill Willed Productions, he has worked around the world, including running workshops in Mexico and Ireland. Steinsiek previously worked on “Saturday Night Live,” “Law & Order” and with the History and Discovery Channels and twice appeared on Syfy’s “Face Off” competition series.
Launched in 2019, the Cherokee Nation Film Office’s mission is to increase the presence of Native Americans at all levels of the film and television industries, while creating opportunities for economic development and employment in the Cherokee Nation. The Tribal Film Office funds scholarships, training, and various educational opportunities for citizens of any federally recognized tribe.