Film, music industries investing more in Oklahoma Film, music industries investing more in Oklahoma

Published: Friday, November 15, 2019 By: Steve Metzer Source: The Journal Record
King said. “We would always prefer to work with local labor, but if we can’t we’ll bring them in from out of state.”

Tulsa accountant Scott Long said he has helped film industry professionals more than 40 times over the past decade to receive rebates on money spent on productions in Oklahoma. One of the biggest has been the movie August: Osage County starring Meryl Streep. He said there’s little question that rebates have made it possible for Oklahoma to land such productions, and the state has taken in as much as $20 million in return for incentives he’s helped to orchestrate.

“It’s become somewhat of a specialty,” Long said of his role in working with the state on behalf of production companies. “As far as I can tell I’ve done a large part of the rebates over the last few years.”

Mayor Holt said the rising entertainment industry is in fact contributing more to the Oklahoma economy.

“It just feels like the music industry has never been stronger in Oklahoma City and Oklahoma,” he said. “And more and more people can now live in Oklahoma City and in Oklahoma and work in the film industry.”

Loren, who attended the conference Thursday with Ashley Andoe from the Cherokee Nation Film Office, said the office launched in January is the first tribally run film commission to be certified through the Association of Film Commissions International. Its goal is to bolster the Native American film community and attract filmmakers and projects to the Cherokee Nation and Oklahoma. She noted that the CNFO is establishing a database of Native American performers as a tool for professionals interested in projects in the state.

Shari Jackson, executive director of the Norman Music Festival, also attended Thursday. She said events like the inaugural Oklahoma Film and Music Conference offer important opportunities for creative people to meet and collaborate.

“We’re laying groundwork for establishing a strong arts economy here, so our people don’t have to leave Oklahoma,” she said.

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