Path Home Shows 2008 Show Archive June 2008 Show 0823 OK Film

OK Film

Lights, camera, and action. A phrase not usually associated with Oklahoma. Yet, its heard all across the state.
OK Film


Show Dates

Show 0823: OK Film

Air date: June 8, 2008



Brian:  Hello!  I’m Brian Bendele sitting in for Rob McClendon.  Lights, camera, and action, a phrase not usually associated with Oklahoma.  Yet, it’s heard all across the state.  Over the last three years, filmmakers in Oklahoma have contributed over fifty million dollars to the state’s economy, not to mention, a little dose of Hollywood glitz and glamour.  Our Russ Jowell got a chance to ask some of Oklahoma’s filmmakers why film and Oklahoma are such a good match.

Russ Jowell:  We caught up with some of Oklahoma’s filmmakers and legislators at a barbeque put on by the Oklahoma Film and Music Office to see why Oklahoma and filmmaking are such a good match.

Russ:  Gray Frederickson, producer of The Godfather, had nothing but praises for our state.

Gray Frederickson:  This state is wonderful, because it’s like a huge big backlot.  It’s just; it’s easy.  You can get anywhere in 15 minutes; everybody loves you.

My grandma’s babysitting me, because my mom wanted to get me a social security card, and she wanted to be the first in line.

Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins sees film as a way to show the world the best that Oklahoma has to offer.

Lt. Gov. Jari Askins:  We have an opportunity to showcase wonderful talent that we have in this state, talent behind the camera, in production, in creativity.

Russ:  It’s pretty much a win-win deal for both the state and its filmmakers.  Film is good for Oklahoma, and Oklahoma is good for film.

Jill Simpson, the director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, explains why.

Jill Simpsom:  In L A if you’re filming, the neighbors generally don’t want you there, and you’re having to pay them large amounts of money.  We had a crew through here last summer.  They came through town.  They were blown away.  They were blown away by the ease of filming here.  They had state highway patrolmen escorting them from one location to another.  They had people welcoming them to their locations.

Russ:  As any filmmaker will tell you though, it’s the bottom line that’s at the top of their mind.

Gray Frederickson:  We also have a rebate program too, which, we started it.  We had the first one, 15% rebate.  Now the other states have jumped on board and are doing a little better.

Russ:  In addition to the talent our state is attracting from around the country, people, like Kim Haywood, are sowing the seeds of homegrown talent right here in our own backyard.

Kim Haywood:  We also have a panel series which we sort of call boot camp, a filmmaking boot camp; so there’s five of those.  You can learn different things about music, funding your film; you can learn about networking in the film community.  And we also have plenty of networking, special events, parties, things like that.

Russ:  It’s this combination of great talent, great locations, and great people that are making film great for Oklahoma.

Lt. Gov. Jari Askins:  Every time we have an opportunity to have films that have been shot in Oklahoma or made by Oklahomans, it’s an opportunity to brag about our state, which enhances our image.