OKC rapidly becoming a film set

Published: Thursday, November 5, 2020 By: Janice Francis-Smith Source: The Journal Record
Schools and a few local university campuses and local businesses.

About 85% of the crew is from Oklahoma, Wayne said.

“There are so many job opportunities on a film set – electricity, catering, assistant directors, art,” Wayne said. Hires for this production came through word of mouth, seeking for individuals with the needed skill sets. The Oklahoma Film & TV Academy that recently launched at Green Pastures Studio in Spencer is also becoming a source for trained workers for the film industry, he said.

And they’ll soon need more workers. An investor from Atlanta has a production scheduled for January to film in northeast Oklahoma City, and “he wants to shoot a bunch of stuff in Oklahoma City,” in the future, Wayne said.

Markus Bishop-Hill, the film’s main producer from Los Angeles, said filming in Oklahoma was surprisingly successful.

“I thought we’d have to create a film production from scratch in Oklahoma, but I was relieved to learn about the solid local film crew and resources that were available to us in the area,” Bishop-Hill said.

Thunderbird Films was quickly able to provide the equipment, staff, locations and vendors needed, he said, and “a Rolodex of talented actors” was available to work on the project.

“Throughout our shooting schedule, we were up against the elements of COVID-19, ice storms, and location power outages, but none of that deterred from wanting to come back and shoot with Thunderbird Films again,” Bishop-Hill said. “The increasing interest and magic of movie-making is alive and growing in the state of Oklahoma, and that alone is a film producer’s dream.”

State officials are taking note of the growing film industry in Oklahoma and looking for ways to support it. During the upcoming legislative session, Department of Commerce officials are looking to add film production to industries that are eligible for a number of quality jobs incentives, said Executive Director of Commerce Brent Kisling on Wednesday.

“We are getting a lot of attention from film production companies, especially out of California,” Kisling said. “We’re the only ones that were open during the pandemic, so if you see a movie it was probably filmed in some part in Oklahoma.”

Read the story at The Journal Record.

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