Based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Aaron Bracetty is the creative director and owner of Bracetty Art Media, a full service video production company. Previous credits include “Prisoner of Love”, “For the Love of Money” and the upcoming FX series “Reservation Dogs”. In addition to his work in the film industry, Bracetty is also an independent video journalist.
How did you get started in the film industry?
I took the Set Ready Film Course at the Oklahoma Film & TV Academy/Green Pastures in Spencer as well as their electric class. After completing the course, I was offered a job on a local production and have been working on a film every month since December 2020.
Did you have any formal education or training related to the film industry before starting?
No, prior to the class, I was strictly a self-taught video creator.
Did you have any formal education or training related to your specific department on-set?
The electrician course at the Oklahoma Film & TV Academy/Green Pastures was taught by Steve Mathis. Steve has been working in the industry since the 70’s and has been an amazing mentor.
What are some of your most recent successes related to your career in the industry?
I was recently accepted into IATSE 484 as an electrician.
What has your career in the state’s film industry taught you?
Honestly, the biggest thing has been that there are no limits. When I initially embarked on the path to becoming a filmmaker, I tried to be ‘realistic’ with my goals. With no professional network or knowledge of the intricacies of the film business, my expectations were just to survive. However, having now worked with celebrated professionals and on large productions, it feels like I can actually have a successful long term career in this industry.
What is the highlight of your career thus far?
Completing the days needed to join the union. Having previously worked in a more formal 9 to 5 environment, getting into film was my first return to ‘regular work’ in several years. I have had to sacrifice relationships, client work and personal projects to be available for every opportunity to be on-set to get my days. Reaching this milestone has been incredible because now I can focus on building the skills I need to be a more valuable member of any production. As an independent filmmaker, it was definitely working on media for the 2020 presidential campaign. As a creator, I was able to help raise $75,000 for Andrew Yang, which provided me the opportunity to join a panel interview with the candidate. The experience really helped me to see the impact that media could have, and ultimately fueled my desire to pursue the professional film industry.
What is your favorite aspect of working in Oklahoma’s film and television industry?
The teamwork! Wow! Having worked independently on video production business the last four years has been pretty isolating. However, getting on set and working with others has really brought back the joy in the process of creating. I learn everyday from my crew mates and have made lifelong friendships. I have met so many incredible people that I can’t imagine to going back to working exclusively independent on projects after this experience.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone starting their career in Oklahoma’s film industry?
Find industry professionals in your desired department and just talk to them. Attend events and get training. Film sets are incredibly scary if you are new, but there are tons of opportunities to get on set even as an actor, which can make it far less intimidating. Once you decide on a department, get as much knowledge on the job as you can. Each crew will have their own ways of doing certain things, but having at least a general idea of your role and set etiquette will allow you to be effective each day.
How does someone in your field/department best promote/market themselves to those hiring in your industry?
Honestly, the only thing is networking on and off set with people in the industry. Opportunities come up every day, but if no one knows you are available for work, you may not get the call. Be active in your pursuit for work. Personally, I knew early what I wanted, so I have always made my intentions known to everyone I have worked with. I think once you select a department and stick to it.
What’s the one item you can’t live without on-set, and why?
Hand sanitizer! As a member of the grip or electric team, I am often touching dirty lights, cables, camera gear and am wanting to grab a snack from crafty on the way back to the truck; so it helps me to try and keep my hands clean.
Would your career be impacted without the state’s film incentive program? If so, how?
Definitely! I have had moderate success as a freelancer working with national news networks covering politics, brands, businesses and artists. However, without the film incentive, I wouldn’t have had as many opportunities to work with members of the film industry. As a freelancer, I am restricted to projects I personally get selected for, but with films, I get to be on much larger scale productions with many others coming together to execute a single vision. The incentive has made that possible
What are you working on now or next?
I am currently on “The Nanny Knows” as best boy electric. Afterwards, I am looking forward to working on a few client video projects before gaffing a short film next month.