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Oklahoma Film Industry

Oklahoma goes out of its way to attract up and coming filmmakers to the state and Oklahoma is at the center of what insiders see as a growing trend.
Oklahoma Film Industry


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Oklahoma Film and Music Commission

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Show 0850: Oklahoma Film Industry

Air date: December 14, 2009



Rob:  Oklahoma goes out of its way to attract up and coming filmmakers to the state.  And while the Oklahoma woods may be a bit far from Hollywood, the state is at the center of what insiders see as a growing trend.  Our Keith Smith has more on one of the newest films to be shot in our state.

Keith:  Well, Rob, it sure doesn’t look like much; just an old, very old, gas station.  But for three weeks, this became the set for one of the season’s scariest films.  Here, take a look.

Keith:  Director Toby Wilkins during the film’s Oklahoma premiere at the Museum of Art in Oklahoma City.

Toby Wilkins:  Splinter is a horror movie in the vein of the classic movies of the 70s and 80s.

Wilkins:  It’s about two couples who are initially strangers.

Wilkins:  Who are thrust together by a series of violent events.

Get in your car.  There’s something out there.

Wilkins:  They have to find a way to work together.

Wilkins:  To survive being besieged by a terrible creature.

Wilkins:  They hole up in a gas station in rural Oklahoma.

We better get out of this gas station.

Wait.  Wait.

Keith:  The Oklahoma Film and Music Commission helps draw films, like Splinter, to the state.  Director Jill Simpson says, when it’s made in Oklahoma, money stays in Oklahoma.

Jill Simpson:  We’ve found that for every dollar spent in film production in Oklahoma, a dollar seventy-two ends up back in the economy.

Keith:  The state offers tax credits and a cash-back rebate program for independent films.

Wilkins:  From a financing perspective, the Oklahoma Film Commission was amazingly supportive, and the resources that are here in Oklahoma make it fairly easy to make a movie.

Keith:  Films almost always have positions to be filled, creating a small army of hired-hands.

Jill Simpson:  The Lieutenant Governor went to the set and was able to see all the locals that they had hired.

Keith:  A ready, willing and able workforce just part of a picture-perfect package.

Wilkins:  Certainly environmental things that Oklahoma has that no other state has.  It just makes a lot more sense to stay in the states.  If you can make more cost effective investments in our states, then why not keep your production here?  The people are great, and the food’s great.

Keith:  All the makings of a great film.

Simpson:  It got great reviews, and that makes us all happy, because it’s something that we can point to as an example of a success.

Keith:  A thrill, that comes with the chills.

Keith:  They’re not turning down any blockbusters, but smaller independent filmmakers are seen as key to the state’s future.

Rob:  So, Keith, do you know exactly how much production money is actually being spent here in the state?

Keith:  A lot, Rob; seventeen million dollars last year alone.  Now to put that in perspective, that’s three times the amount they had just three years before that.  They’re staying long enough to get to know Oklahoma.  Now, I stayed around the screening of this movie long enough to know that I have no idea just what may be in the shadows at this gas station.

Rob:  Great story; thank you, Keith.  Now, Splinter is showing in select theatres and will be out on DVD in January.